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“Somewhere in Atlanta, in a room controlled by the city’s police force, is a cache of 6,000 or so guns that have been plucked off the streets over the last three years,” reports. This despite S.B. 350, a state law passed in 2012 that directs the police to re-sell confiscated firearms. “We have an obligation to re-sell [the guns] to gun purchasers,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner told CBS46 last week. After acknowledging his legal obligation, Chief Turner made no secret of his intention to ignore it. Like this . . .

“The city of Atlanta has not done that.” To put those firearms back on the street would be “catastrophic,” Turner said.

So the city has decided to slow-walk its legal obligation. It hasn’t destroyed the weapons, but neither has it held any auctions – which are required at least every six months, online or in the flesh . . .

Deputy Chief Ericka Shields confirmed her police department’s course of action. “We would have to sell guns that have been used in homicides,” the deputy chief said. Those were the exact words she used, but it is impossible to capture the revulsion that accompanied them.

She was revolted I tell you, revolted! Reading the rest of the article, it’s clear that AJC writer Jim Galloway shares Deputy Shield’s disquiet. And isn’t afraid to misrepresent the “issue” to do so.

But a larger issue is at stake in the direction that the city of Atlanta has chosen. Are people safer when there are more guns on the street – or fewer? According to a national Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 49 percent of voters say that more guns mean less safety. Forty-one percent disagree.

It appears someone forgot to tell Mr. Galloway that the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional right, subject neither to the democratic process or arguments about social utility. In the same way that someone forgot to tell a Peach Tree State legislator what S.B. 350 mandated.

To his current embarrassment, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, wasn’t among [the Democrats – four of them – who voted against the bill]. Granted, it was a crowded legislative day. “If I voted for that, it was a complete oversight,” Fort said. Nonetheless, the senator described himself “chagrined,” and promised to work to repeal the measure.

Fort doesn’t always agree with the Reed administration, but he does this time. “We’re going to find that those guns are going to be used in crimes. I have no doubt about that. To put that many guns back on the street, when we should be doing the opposite, is bizarre,” Fort said.

Turning your back on a legal mandate, shunning the extra revenue the sale of confiscated guns would bring and assuming that 6k more guns in the hands of law-abiding Georgians would make any difference to the crime rate? That’s what I call bizarre.

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  1. Selective law enforcement is leading us down a path from which we may not be able to recover. Guns, immigration, prosecution of criminals – it just keeps getting worse.

      • ’81, the chief there just did a major screw-up.

        Look at this quote:

        ““The city of Atlanta has not done that.” To put those firearms back on the street would be “catastrophic,” Turner said.”

        The guns won’t be ‘back on the street’, they will be in the hands of licensed FFLs ONLY, and sold with a Federal background check. Supposedly, exactly what the antis ‘claim’ they want.

        Anyone rational would think that a gun sold with a background check would be an official Martha Stewart “Good Thing”… (Even tho Martha herself, being a convicted felon, is a prohibited person ineligible to legally own a firearm, but I digress …)

        The Chief there and every anti everywhere considers all guns, even those sold with a Federal background check to be guns out “ON THE STREET”.

        Thanks, City of Atlanta police chief, you just announced your real agenda.

        • Rephrased: “It would be catastrophic if the people of Atlanta were able to purchase used firearms through a licensed FFL with a background check. Because more guns means more gun crime. It’s common sense!”

    • Such as the New York state sheriffs who refuse to enforce the SAFE Act? The DOJ who won’t prosecute marijuana offenses? Selective policing cuts both ways.

      • Nope. There is no law that says a sheriff SHALL enforce the SAFE Act, or that an officer SHALL arrest everyone he finds with weed. This law, on the other hand, mandates that the municipality SHALL offer firearms for auction\sale every 6 months or less.

        The question is… what if it doesn’t? There is no enforcement spelled out in the bill.

      • NY state sheriffs who refuse to enforce a clearly unconstitutional law are upholding their oath. Unlike the Atlanta PD Chief who is just kissing political a$$.

        • Sheriffs are elected by the people and city police chiefs are appointed by politicians. That is why Sheriffs usually show loyalty to the people and police chiefs usually only show loyalty to their political puppet masters.

  2. And the punishment for violating this law? I assume the legislators didn’t think to write any punishment into the law. How about take the value of the 6000 firearms out of the police chief’s paycheck and then he can do what he pleases with them.

    • That exactly what i was thinking but take the retail cost out of their budget and benefits then they would change their tune. So let me get this straight the police chief is disobeying the law and this is supposed to set the example for the department. He needs to go Make an example of him

    • ^^This^^. This is a state law – they should be sending in the State Troopers, or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (if there is such), to arrest this citizen who has arbitrarily decided what state laws should or should not be enforced.

      • “…they should be sending in the State Troopers, or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (if there is such)…”

        “The Mission of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is to provide the highest quality investigative, scientific, and information services and resources to the criminal justice community and others as authorized by law, for the purpose of maintaining law and order and protecting life and property. The Mission will be achieved by a team of skilled and dedicated employees, utilizing innovative programs and state of the art technology.”

    • It is not arrestable. The law speaks about the municipality and doesn’t appear to offer any punishments. The best I could think would be to get a court order and then go after them for contempt.

  3. CBS 46 is doing some good work,

    I recommend looking up their other videos.

    CBS 46 did one on CCW and stopping mass shootings that is worth watching.

  4. We in Florida had the same problem with local pols ignoring the law as they felt like it. FINALLY we got the legislature to add TEETH to the consequences for breaking it. Now our “servants” face arrest, prosecution, jail and a $5000 fine that cannot be paid with taxpayer money. (lawyer fees AND fine). The wailing, clothes rendering and gnashing of teeth was tremendous when it passed. It was amazing the amount of angst they exhibited at simply obeying the law like us peons were required to do.

    Now they look for every little loophole that they can find to circumvent the intent and impinge upon the lawful carry.

  5. Funny how it’s just guns that the police don’t want to sell. They seem to have no problem at all exploiting asset forfeiture laws to fill their coffers when it’s houses, cars, and other items.

    The cynic in me wonders if part of the resistance to selling them is because some of the nicer specimens are no longer in that room.

  6. A writ of mandamus is in order here:
    A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion. (See, e.g. Cheney v. United States Dist.
    Mandamus – Legal Information Institute – Cornell University
    The question is who has standing to file it? A taxpayer?

    • I would think so–or an FFL who would like to get his hands on some of that merchandise to resell. And I think you are right, mandamus seems like the proper remedy. If the chief doesn’t obey, he can follow County Clerk Davis into the local pokey. (Yes, I know, different state, but same principle)

  7. The blatant disregard for laws at this level has been fostered by the lawlessness of the current administration.

  8. The citizens of Atlanta should get on the mayor to appoint a police chief that will follow the law. If he chooses to not follow the law regarding the sale of guns, what other laws does he choose to ignore? This reminds me of the selective enforcement of laws that we now have happening nationally. When you pick and choose what laws will be enforced, what is the point of making them in the first place?

    • It’s the mayor that is driving this policy. Whether the chief agrees with him or not is irrelevant. Mayor Reed is the hindrance to selling those guns.

      It is funny that there are hundreds of former Atlanta PD duty firearms for sale from previous trade in programs where the PD used their existing duty weapons as trade for newer current weapons. A quick gunbroker search turns them up.

      Classic some animals are more equal than others.

    • The mayor actually encourages the chief to not sell them. She does not like guns in the hands of citizens.

      Under the law, they can be sold anywhere, not just in Atlanta so if their concern is guns in Atlanta, they have the option of selling them to dealers in rural areas. They have to be sold only to FFLs according to the law.

  9. Slow-Walk? When the law stipulates every 6 months?

    How is the hammer not coming down on him?

    Can I slow walk my speeding ticket?

    He took an oath to enforce the law.
    Hold him to account or arrest, impeach, relieve, or fire him.

  10. “If I voted for that, it was a complete oversight”

    He accidentally voted on legislation? Good thing this guy made a career in politics, he would probably be unemployable otherwise.

  11. You expected the police to act in accordance with the law? Ha! That hasn’t happened in the history of the country. They’ve set themselves up as a privileged class, above the law and above the citizenry with special rights conferred only to them and with the ability to investigate themselves and declare themselves in the right when someone says or proves that the police violated the law.

    Cops aren’t here to serve or protect the people at large. SCOTUS acknowledged both of those things. The police are here to serve their own interests and protect themselves and the government that empowers them from scrutiny.

  12. This police chief exemplifies why conservatives across the country are losing at the grass-roots level.

    Conservatives respect the law and want to see the law applied uniformly.

    Leftists think the law is a tool to be used or ignored, depending on their goals.

    Leftists that flout the law are held up as martyrs for social justice and rarely, if ever, face consequences for their actions.

    Equally as unfortunate, leftists have infiltrated the machinery of government to the point where conservatives can be assured of consequences, or, worse, consequences even though the law is on their side.

    Bottom line: the rule of law is dead in this country. We have entered the “rule of men” stage and the next step will be an even more despotic regime that will probably not even pay lip service to the rule of law or the Constitution.

    Yay us.

  13. “According to a national Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 49 percent of voters say that more guns mean less safety. Forty-one percent disagree.”

    People have been deceived into accepting the idea “More guns = more crime”. They have been convinced “It’s simple math”.

    Yes, the same “simple math” we find in:

    If a woman takes 9 months to give birth, we can assign 9 women to that task, and complete the project in 1 month.

    • The Dem answer would e to assign 9 women to the task as a bloated “job creation” program. However, it would quickly break down when the public sector unions got involved. While 9 women took the load for 1 month each, there would need to be a full time union rep on payroll but not working, plus a supervisor and assistant supervisor, and at least another 5 FTEs to administer the program. The GOP version would look to outsource or privatize it. Left to the market, they’d look to improve efficiency to get the process down to 4.5 months.

    • OTOH, the very well researched book “More Guns, Less Crime” comes to exactly the opposite conclusion. Great book though a bit boring due to all the statistics. Mr Lott answers all of his critics comments about the book in a very professional and convincing way. The folks in this article quote one hand picked poll that relies on what people believe but without references to any real facts. Do people with any brains at all actually believe this propaganda that the Anti-Gun crowd puts out ?

  14. Have to confess I didn’t read Georgia’s statute, but assume it doesn’t requite the firearms to be sold in a manner that would bypass background checks. If so, then the ‘back on the streets’ argument collapses unless one claims that any lawful purchase can lead to undesirable consequences. If so, then impounded cars sales should be suspended since a vehicle might be acquired by drunk drivers that could kill and maim too.

    Also wondering if statistics were published: how many were stolen (and attempts to reunite with lawful owners)? Where did they originate? Type (pistol, rifle, shotgun) and type of crime (homicide, robbery, etc.)?

    Seems like there’s an opportunity to improve policing with better data.

    • My thoughts exactly. Where the dickens did they get 6000 guns? Was this over the past 30 years? If not, I’ll bet that a high percentage were stolen, and certainly some of those were reported stolen by S/N. Was any attempt at all to return these guns to their rightful owners, as we’d assume is the JOB of a police department? Other than those, when charges are dropped or cases dismissed, are the affected firearms returned? Somehow I think those answers would not please us.

    • Odd, as those V-8 powered ‘Interceptors’ likely belch climate-poisoning CO2…

      And those cars are favorites of street racers looking for a cheap way to drag race on city streets… endangering little 3-year-old cherubs out exploring the great wide world…

      Think of the children!!!!

  15. And yet, on the other side, the police aren’t obeying the laws in Connecticut against gun owners who haven’t registered and/or give up their guns. We applaud those cops, but not Atlanta’s.

    Talk about slippery slope.

    Rock and hard place no matter how we look at this.

    • I believe we support those people who have ignored the CT law and the LEOs who refuse to enforce it because they have taken the correct stand that the law itself is unconstitutional and to enforce it would be a violation of the oath each police officer takes to uphold the Constitution. This is an apples and oranges comparison, sir.

  16. “….the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional right, subject neither to the democratic process…. ”

    Are we sure about that? Is there no democratic process whereby the Constitution can be amended? By democratic process?

    There is a difference between Constitutionally-protected and immutable is so far as law is concerned. While natural law may exist, there is no human defined law, regulation, ordinance, policy legislation, or procedure that cannot be altered through the demoncratic process (or executive action)

    • Usux, you are correct, the constitution does not confer any rights whatsoever, RKBA is actually a *natural* right every human is born with, and which cannot be removed by any democratic action. The constitution could be amended to allow some level of infringement on that natural right, since the constitution currently prohibits any such infringement.

    • As LarryTX points out, the right ot keep and bear arms, indeed, the right to self defense, is natural right that is only protected by the Second Amendment (theoretically) enjoining the government from infringement. Even if the Constitutional protection was stripped away the right itself would still exist – only the (supposed) protection from our government attempting to punish us for exercising that right would go away. At that exact point would come into play our other natural right of using those arms to overthrow the tyrannical government we were faced with.

      As for democracy…The Founding Fathers detested democracy and knew that historically they could never sustain themselves for very long. The whole business of when the population realized that they could vote themselves “bread and circuses”. The democratic process assumes that any vote of a majority (50% + one vote) was sufficient to impose their will on the minority in any question or legislation. They saw this as a recipe for disaster and so set up the Constitution so that in no case is a simple majority adequate to win the issue, even in the election of the president and vice president.

      Additionally, if you will read Article V of the Constitution, in all cases where the Constitution is to be legally, Constitutionally, amended it takes a super-majority to accomplish. The intent of this is so that a bare plurality of votes cannot impose their will on the minority. Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms is not subject to “the democratic process” as defined by a simple pluality.

  17. So all 6000 guns were used in murders? That’s either a really high murder count or a few victims that have more hole than a statist’s line of reasoning.

  18. Why isn’t anyone arresting the police chief?? They are breaking the law.

    We need a group of police officers and or sheriffs to go down there and arrest them.

    • It’s funny, because in your attempt to make sure the police are accountable you are giving them WAY more power than they have. Although I guess it’s just a lack of knowledge about the law.

      The law in question (which I bet most people here didn’t bother reading since they have the wrong one linked in the article!) does not create a criminal law to be broken. It mandates that the city do something, but (1) you can’t arrest a city and (2) you can’t arrest someone (like the chief) unless he has broken a criminal law. There aren’t even any civil punishments laid out in the law in question, unlike some others which are better written.

      The only thing to do here would be to get a court order, at which point the named parties would have to act or be found in contempt. Theoretically.

  19. i still cannot get how a police chief can wear the 4 star general rank when a state police commandant is a colonel. but this should be brought directly to the governors office its a state law he should demand it be enforced and the chiefs police credentials suspended until he complies. lately cities are overstepping there authorities way beyond traditional areas of government and not just on guns.

    • also poles are only opinions not a fact. theirs statistics to measure theses things like number of guns legal vs illegally owned and crime. and does Atlanta do what Chicago does, refuse to turn felons caught with a gun to federal prosicution

      • And since when does a mayor and City Police Chief take a poll to decide which state laws they will be enforcing?

        The governor should send in State Troopers to at a minimum confiscate the 6,000 firearms the city is holding illegally. Perhaps there is a federal violation here since they are being held by the Police Chief/General under his control and I’m pretty sure he has not obtained an FFL, entered each and every one into a “bound book”, or filed 4473’s. Maybe the BATFE could confiscate the weapons and ship them to Mexico where the City Of Atlanta would not have to worry about them being on their streets any longer.

  20. Will the U S Depart of Injustice investigate?
    The Chief has learned from POTUS Oh to ignore the laws he does not like.

  21. When a chief breaks the law, it’s not illegal — it’s policy. Because there’s no point in having power if you can’t abuse it.

  22. Well Mr. Police Chief, if you’re so worried about the citizenry being victimized, WHY DON’T YOU SELL EACH OF THEM ONE OF THE CONFISCATED GUNS?

  23. That 6000 number, was that before they picked out all the good ones, and left the Raven’s, and Jennings, or after?

  24. Wow, don’t these guys believe in background checks? Isn’t that the current be-all and end-all in “gun safety? As long as the sale requires a background check, what could go wrong?

  25. What? Fire the black po-leece chief? That’s raciss…A gun(and a law) for thee but not for me. Meanwhile I saw(today) Toni Preckwinkle(Cook Co.,ILL) call for a bullet tax-because legal gun owners need to pay for all the gun violence. And they need more $ in their slush fund…I know I can easily circumvent these slimeballs.

    • $25 gun tax is why no FFLs that I use are still in the county. The bullet tax will never pass, Cabela’s will scream bloody murder. Honestly, I would not be surprised if Cook county lost more money from lost sales tax than it made on the $25 gun tax

      • Binder-I will NEVER buy a gun or ammo in Cook co. And I have a shop in my town.Grossly overpriced,no layaway,$25 tax and price gouged during the ammo famine. I can buy in Indiana,Will or the interwebz and transfer to Borderline across the road from Crook. Many shops in INdiana won’t play ball with Crook. Or ask for ID on ammo…

  26. What? Fire the black po-leece chief? That’s raciss…A gun(and a law) for thee but not for me. Meanwhile I saw(today) Toni Preckwinkle(Cook Co.,ILL) call for a bullet tax-because legal gun owners need to pay for all the gun violence. And they need more $ in their slush fund…I know I can easily circumvent these slimeballs. Obviously the end game is no gun shops in Cook(let alone Chicago).

  27. In addition to Georgia, it looks like about ten other states have such laws directing police to resell seized firearms: Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, and West Virginia. I’ve read that Kentucky was the first to have a law banning the destruction of seized guns.

    Yes, there are cases where guns seized and subsequently resold by police have ended up being used in crimes. So what? Guns sold by……..anyone……….sometimes end up being used in crimes. These same police departments have zero compunction selling any other seized asset, particular those from civil asset forfeiture. They have no problem selling vehicle that ferried drugs and drug money around, or that were used in robberies or drive-bys.

    Hell, the police have no problem *using* some of those assets themselves sometimes! There are departments out there with seized exotic sports cars repurposed as police cruisers. Granted, they’re most typically used in anti-crime presentations at schools, but not always. The point remains that they’re still being reused, despite their odious past life.

    Police hypocrisy puts the lie to their claim that reselling firearms to the law abiding public puts officers’ lives in danger. Their real objection is simply to the public keeping and bearing arms.

  28. OK let’s be honest. Probably 90 present of the seized firearms are junk guns and Hi Points. Most of the stuff is not something that an average firearm consumer wants. But the guns will likely end up in a pawn shop, then straw purchased for cheap and end up “one the street”. Would be nice if we had a police chef you could trust, have someone sort out the “Saturday Night Specials” and sell the rest at auction directly to consumers. I’m fairly sure that the department can get their own FFL, and I think you can cut down on straw purchases if people are buying directly from the police department at a police auction.

    But it kind of hints at what the police chief knows. Background checks are mostly useless. Any criminal who wants to get a gun is just going to have a friend, lover, brother or spouse buy it for them.

    • I can definitely see where that could work — I know a couple of people who would get a kick out of owning a gun that was used in a murder, if it came with certification specifying the case.

  29. He seems to be following the examples set by libertarians. You can choose to disobey a law with little or no consequences. Many people are happy when the pot laws are not enforced.

  30. So what’s the legal recourse to force them to put the guns up for auction? Where are the teeth in SB350? The police Chief and the Mayor must be held accountable to follow the law, whether or not they like it. Who’s going to get the ball rolling?

  31. My roommate just commented that they should sell them and make an endowment for a hospital to help cover the bills of victims of criminal use of guns.

  32. Perhaps a lawsuit against him and the city of Atlanta might help him to realize his lawful obligations.

  33. Some simple math says that if these firearms were worth $100 each on average (I think that’s fair it’s probably a lot of junk among the good stuff) Then you’d make $600K. If they were worth $200 each that’s $1.2M. It’s money that’s not going back into the taxpayers coffers. What could the Atlanta PD buy in training and equipment $1.2M in cash?

  34. Not sure where I’ve told this story before but it bears repeating.

    I showed up for my graduate school orientation where we had to sit through all manner of drivel that could have been just as easily related through a well written email. But at any rate there were talks given as well. We were all treated to a great lesson on ethics in research and why it mattered. Then the very next speech is a guy who gets up and talks about how someone once did something unethical for him because it “felt like the right thing to do.” Look granted it was a kindness. And granted it wasn’t a huge deal, but this is exactly their mindset. What is right and most ethical is less important that doing what you FEEL is right. Never mind the ethical and moral frameworks set up by those who came before.

    This story you posted is the exact same thing. These people have a legal obligation to legally and lawfully sell some guns, but because it makes them feel weird they refuse. And we are supposed to pat them on the back and see how wonderful our government leaders are for not doing their job.

    Do I even need to bring up the hypocrisy of the outcry against those who follow their morals in government positions when those morals are unfavorable to the media?

    Let there be no mincing of words, when this kind of crap becomes widespread and unchallenged you will know the rule of law is dead in America. And plenty of people would love to see it go.

  35. Well, sheriffs are refusing to uphold stupid anti gun laws and standing up for their beliefs it should be no surprise that this chief is refusing to uphold what he considers a dumb law and standing up for what he believes. Whats good for the goose and all that.

  36. Lawless or “Above the Law” law enforcement officials are commonplace if one takes a historical perspective.
    The Founders of this nation knew this well and expected it to come to pass here. This is why they went to the lengths they did to spell out that the People must have UN-infringed arms bearing. This guy is the reason we have guns. I hope he understands that he is a criminal. I hope that someone in our state has the nerve to prosecute him. If push comes to shove, I hope I have the courage to bear arms in the restoration of our Liberties.

  37. Obviously a man of limited intelligence. Thinking that selling the guns to honest and legal gun owners puts them “back on the streets”, indicates unsound reasoning. Especially when the facts tell the story that armed honest citizens are less likely to be a victim of crime.

  38. Bizarre. This isn’t even the right way to go about it. Why break the law? You want to spit in the face of the legal system you’re supposed help execute, then you SKIRT the law. Obey the letter and not the spirit. I’d hold auctions every 6 months and set the starting bid at 100x MSRP. Not that I agree with it. Just pointing out that they’re even bad at NOT doing their jobs.

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