Georgia State Senator Lester G. Jackson (courtesy
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In 2012, the Georgia Legislature passed a statute to forbidding the police to destroy valuable firearms. The statute requires that firearms in possession of police — whether confiscated, seized or otherwise acquired — be sold to legal dealers. Once administrative costs are covered, the money from the sale goes to the general fund of the administering political subdivision.

When the law went into effect, a number of Georgia political subdivisions violated the law with impunity. The chief amongst them: the City of Atlanta. Guns sold at auction by police usually bring between $100 and $200 each. Atlanta was sitting on at least 6,000 guns more than two years ago.

Georgia State Senator Ed Harbison (courtesy

Atlanta has likely added two thousand more guns since then. Assuming $150 per gun, and eight thousand guns, that is $1.2 million dollars the city refuses to put in its general fund. The figure doesn’t include the cost of storing and securing the valuable property, or the cost of organizing a sale.

Three Democrat senators, Lester G Jackson from Savanna (top of post),  Ed Harbison from Columbus (posing in front of the flag above), and Gail Davenport from Jonesboro (posiing in front of the flag below), have introduced legislation to allow police to destroy legal, valuable, guns. The legislation would repeal of the 2012 law.

It seems unlikely to pass. The legislature, losing patience with the scofflaw antics of Atlanta and other jurisdictions in Georgia, is more likely to amend the proposed legislation to add penalties for the officials who refuse to follow Georgia law.

Georgia State Senator Gail Davenport (courtesy

That happened in Arizona.

Tucson City officials refused to follow a law requiring the sale of firearms. The legislature passed new legislation, that withheld state funds from the City until the City complied with the law. The City fought the law to the State Supreme Court, where they lost.

Cities are not above the law. They are not constitutionally separate entities who can choose what state laws to follow, and what state laws to violate.

Equally, when police violate the law, it sets a bad example and a bad precedent. What other laws can law enforcement violate or ignore when they have a difference of opinion with legislators?

Will Georgia legislators step up to the plate and stop the scofflaw cities in Georgia from wasting taxpayer resources? We will see in 2018.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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  1. I don’t necessarily think that the police are the scofflaws; they answer to the City councils that make the rules. And it is clearly the cities themselves that are balking at the law and paying for the inevitable litigation.

      • I’m afraid so. The police chief is hired by the city or put in place most of the time. The chief does what the city tells him to do or he is let go from that position. At least that is what most cities/town do. The sheriff on the other hand is a elected official and does pretty much what his political party’s views are. (Repub/Dem)

        • So we’re agreed: incentives matter. If ignoring the law achieves the city’s political goals and provides job security for local chiefs, then it’s just a matter of applying tge proper incentives, carrot and/or stick, to ensure compliance.

          However, this defiant just following orders bit, when the letter and spirit of the law are clear, is inexcusable. They are traitors to their oaths and lawbreakers themselves.

        • Jeez, lay off the cafine francis…. they aren’t “just obeying orders”, they (the chiefs of police) are making a conscious political decision, and yes, chiefs of police are political appointments…. street cops have no say over what happens to those guns. What do you expect them (street cops) to do? Take the guns and sell them, then claim that they were following state law (just following orders) in defiance of municipal and depatment policy (and maybe ATF rules and federal law)?

    • For some reason one of the plot angles from the second Lethal Weapon movie (pretty sure it was the second) popped into my mind:
      A corrupt cop makes a fortune selling guns stolen from evidence lockers earmarked for destruction. He writes them off as destroyed and sells them to LA thugs, drug cartel smugglers or whomever.
      See, if the guns were legally sold to licensed dealers then they would be traceable all the way to the end user – with legally required records and little chance of under-the-table shenanigans.
      I’m not saying that might be why these elected democrats are against selling guns to dealers… but I’m not NOT saying it either…

      • Maybe the local legislators are in the pocket of the gun lobby or have their pensions tied up in firearms manufacturer stocks…. if they release those guns for sale, it will flood the market with cheap guns and affect the sale of new firearms driving the stock down and screwing up their mutual funds…. maybe thats why they didnt want Trump to be president either? If Hillary were president their stocks would be going through the roof!…. (my tin foil hat is off now)😐

    • A good second hand gun confiscated by police selling for $100-200 can be affordable to just about anyone. Los Angeles County took over 7000 guns out of bad guys and mentally ill peoples hands–off the streets and melted them. This has been policy for decades. This measure has undoubtedly saved untold lives, resources, and spent judicial economy. Theyre motto is to protect and serve. The practice of melting down confiscated firearms is just one way they live up to their motto.

  2. The best answer is to require any city with unsold guns held more than a year transfer them to the state for the state to sell, with the state retaining all proceeds.

    • Sure…. but it will just turn in to another requirement for them to ignore…. criminals will ignore the law no matter what the laws are.

      • Isnt that the definition of criminal? One who ignores the law? That makes these town councils and chiefs of police criminals, doesn’t it? Sorta like unindicted co-conspirators. Who’d a thought it?

  3. The best answer is to apply a penalty directly to the governmental officials that are not following the law, not to the agency but the actual people. The penalty should be the value of the total loss of the property that was destroyed plus any additional costs incurred by their lawless behavior. This will make them think twice before they willingly go against the people’s wishes. Penalizing the municipality doesn’t stop lawless behavior as the scofflaws are just screwing the public once again making them pay for their lawlessness.

    • I agree. As a citizen I am not free to ignore laws I disagree with, so by what right do politicians balk at laws they find contentious?

    • Just curious: do these types of law and consequences exist anywhere? Is there a law on the books that allows a government official to suffer penalties when their office doesn’t follow protocol?

  4. Why is it that 95% of the time the politicians wanting to pretend the 2nd Amendment doesn’t exist are Democrats? Why is it that they are the first group of politicians who want to deprive people of their guaranteed right of free speech especially when it is speech they don’t like? Why is it that they are the first to want to deprive us of our religious liberties especially when they see a way to pander to certain big money donors of a certain persuasion? I also see many of these same Democrats going to receive Communion in Church while at the same time pushing strongly for any and all types of abortion?

    I don’t want Schumer from Liberal New York, Pelosi from Liberal San Francisco or Blumenthal from Liberal Connecticut telling me what I have a right do and what I don’t! I didn’t vote for those schmucks so take a long walk off a short pier and take Feinstein with you!!

    • Progressives believed (and still do) that experts should rule society, that the “average man” was incapable of knowing their own best interest. Progressives believe, generally, there is no absolute right and wrong, right and wrong is defined by Progressives and their experts at any particular time.

      To Progressives, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are obstacles to be overcome, not pillars of American society that must be defended. Because Progressives generally view the State as god, or at least the manifestation of God on earth, right is anything that advances Progressivism. Wrong is anything that hinders advancing the Progressive agenda. President Wilson, one of the political foundational Progressives, is attributed as believing that “limits on government power should be abolished”.

  5. How many of those guns were actually used in a real crime? How many were stolen by the cops? How many could be returned to their legitimate owners? That’s the only rational reason for serial numbers and sale’s receipts. No good reason for the cops to sell these guns, of course, but better than destroying them.

  6. More than one police officer has been caught “borrowing” or selling guns from the evidence room in Australia.

    Imagine the same happens in USA

    • And to think, the Georgia colony was originally founded on the prohibition of both slavery and lawyers, among others. Now the lawyers are busy at work trying to enslave the people.

  7. Possession is 9/10 of the law, I’ve heard it said. You want to hold on to those guns that belong to the People of the state? Fine. Keep them; you just bought them. Now pay up!

    I’d be OK with the state just tallying up the value of the guns not sold at public, transparent auction each year, then deducting that from the state’s annual direct financial assistance to the city.

    Better yet, require such auctions quarterly. Allow outside groups, like the NRA, to sue the city for three times the value of the unsold guns.

  8. When a democrat says that they respect the 2nd Amendment…what they are really saying is that they are absolute liars…

  9. Interesting how the same people who want to destroy confederate statues, also want to destroy guns and destroy private gun ownership.


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