Friday, July 3, 2015

New Gun Laws Take Effect Friday in Arizona

By Alan Korwin

It’s not a big day-to-day difference for most of us, but a significant difference in the operation of our state — the gun friendliest state in the Union. Thanks to the Arizona Citizens Defense League, and the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association, which you should join if you haven’t already, officials cannot create a registry of gun owners, and anti-rights bigots can’t go around destroying public assets just because they hate guns.

When the anti-rights people tell you they don’t want to eliminate guns, just compare that to the gun-destruction program they raced to complete before this new law took effect.

The only reason they stopped collecting guns to destroy is they ran out of anonymous money for buying them, and their time ran out. We passed a law to remove the loophole they found that let them burn up guns held by the police — guns that could have been sold instead through FBI background checks, with the money then used to fight crime.

They rushed to destroy this public property. Their agenda was right there on their sleeves. If Mayor Bloomberg’s money (or whoever, the money was anonymous) didn’t run out, they would still be buying guns to melt. If we didn’t close the loophole, they would still be melting guns. Tell me again — what guns wouldn’t they melt?


HB2326 — §13-3108. Language was tightened to stop officials from continuing to disregard existing law and prevent them from compiling firearm registries of innocent gun owners. (I would have preferred a comitatus law that provided jail time for any official who attempted such a thing. That will have to come later.)


HB2455 — §12-940 et seq., §13-3108. Protection of Firearms in Official Custody. “Property” was redefined in 2013 to include any guns that might come into officials’ possession for any reason. Such guns must be safely kept, honestly valued and handled only as defined by law. If officials take a gun from you, they must give you a detailed receipt, including how to retrieve it. If a gun that is legal to own and worth more than $150 is found and the owner is not known, a description of it must be publicly posted or published.


If it is unclaimed after 30 days, two things can happen. The gun can be sold to a licensed firearm dealer for resale to the public, or a law enforcement agency can trade it to a licensed dealer for anything the agency needs for its own work. In a sale, the money goes to the general fund. In a trade, the police get the goods. Either way, the firearms become available to the public through FBI background-checked sales. See §12-940 et seq. Firearms acquired by various agencies, a public asset in the hands of our government servants, can no longer be destroyed, under this law amended to prevent ongoing abuse of constitutionally protected property, by people who should be acting as honorable employees.

Although there is no time frame on the government agencies acting, they have a vested interest in doing so, because the property is worthless to them while it sits, since they are forbidden from using it for anything else. By trading it in they can use it for gear they need, which can be guns, ammo or anything else an FFL can provide, or they can get cold hard cash for it, which the politicians themselves get to use in the general fund. Politicians will get to decide which option, cash or trade, gets made.

The 30-day period allows rightful owners to claim the property, but it means people will have to be alert, and check the public postings. That typically occurs in the cheapest venue around. In Phoenix, that’s usually the Gila Bend Sun News, which has dirt cheap rates, and the fattest public notice section, which keeps the paper alive.

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