Resale law changes future of gun buyback events

Resale law changes future of gun buyback events

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PHOENIX -

Governor Jan Brewer has signed a bill that makes big changes to gun buyback programs. Those programs are often run by police agencies trying to get guns off the streets.

But this new bill requires cities and law enforcement agencies to resell those guns rather than destroy them.

The gun buyback programs have been very successful in the eyes of law enforcement. Unwanted guns are able to be given away, no questions asked, and in some cases you can get a gift card in return.

"I sold a gun back that wasn't doing me any good hanging around the house," says Tom Cleary, Phoenix resident.

As it stands now, the guns are melted down, but some in the legislature felt destroying the weapons was a waste of taxpayer's resources.

The new law requires the guns to be resold to licensed gun dealers rather than destroyed.

The governor signed the bill with no fanfare Monday night. Brewer's office said it received about 2,000 letters, emails and phone calls, most them in support of the new law.

The law takes effect later this year. Phoenix police have 3 gun buyback events over the next few weeks.

"We would just encourage people to come out at this point. Especially if they have the intent of providing a weapon that they want destroyed. This is the time to do it," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.

The future of police or city-sponsored gun buyback events is uncertain.

"I don't think you will see law enforcement in Arizona being involved in gun buyback programs anymore based upon this law. It requires us to sell these guns back and the whole purpose of gun buyback events is to remove guns from the street," says Martos.

So while government backed programs may be finished, the new law does not apply to non-profit organizations.

HB2455: unclaimed property; firearms; disposition
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