Cities, towns push to destroy seized weapons — even in states where it is prohibited

A number of the weapons seized in the past week are shown on the display of the Chicago Police Department in Chicago, Illinois, United States, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young – RTX1QHK9

When the police seize a gun that was in possession of illegal, have to destroy them or auction?

Some cities in the country would want to destroy them, but can’t because there are more than a dozen states have laws forcing city governments to the guns at the auction.

Gun rights advocates helped the state laws, with the argument that the destruction of old guns is just a waste. But officials in the cities as Phoenix, Ariz., and Savannah, Georgia, are pushing back against these laws say that they must destroy the weapons in order to prevent more violence.

Tucson has destroyed nearly 5,000 confiscated guns since 2013, despite a law that the government claims, prohibited to do this. After the state threatened a lawsuit, the city agreed this month to stop the destruction of the weapons, while it challenges the law in court.

In Savannah, members of the city council have been started in an attempt to get permission from the state to destroy guns, rather than to sell them.

“I favor the destruction of these weapons. I do not want that they sold to pawn shops or gun dealers. These guns seem to always wind up in the poor neighborhoods,” Councilman John Hall told

He admitted that it was probably a tough fight.

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“We face a serious fight to get that changed as a result of the heavy gun lobby in this state,” he said.

Gun lawyers who helped the bill argue that re-guns sold should be treated just such as new weapons.

“The holy grail of the gun prohibitionists, the background, will be used when a person buys one of these firearms,” Jerry Henry, director of told

“There is absolutely no reason to destroy a perfectly legal item, simply because the item was stolen and is now in the hands of the enforcement of the law,” Henry said.

Hall does not agree.

“A lot of people say that these weapons won’t end up in the hands of the wrong people. These guns do,” he said. Asked whether he had a specific example, he said that he didn’t – but knew that it happened.

Sooner or resale of the guns can be a cheap alternative for people looking to buy a gun for self-defense, Hall said, “Most people who buy it for legitimate purposes – they buy new weapons. That is what I believe.”

Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the pro-gun rights, the Second Amendment Foundation, noted that the destruction of the weapons would benefit gun manufacturers.

“If there is a demand to buy weapons, and the city has destroyed these guns, it only helps the firearms industry sales of new weapons … If you’re anti-gun, it backfires in your face.”

Although neither Hall nor other proponents of the destruction of seized weapons claim that the point is to prevent weapons manufacturers from turning a profit, Gottlieb sees the cities of the efforts of the as part of a campaign against guns in general, “because they hate guns and don’t want anybody to own one.”

Gottlieb added that the group is not looking to help the weapon manufacturers. “We are here to help the consumer. And if the consumer can buy a firearm at a lower price, that is what we do here.”

For his part, Hall did not understand why someone would oppose the destruction of weapons and other anti-gun laws.

“I had an older brother, who was murdered in 1984 by a gun,” Hall said. “It is absolutely disgusting to me how people argue against the common sense of the legislation. Did you know that a 12-year-old can walk through the streets of this city with a long gun? That is legal. We live here in a state where you can carry a gun in the church or in a bar. We have gun nuts that here, just not for any common sense gun control.”

“The gun nuts” believe that the restrictions on the weapons almost always backfire.

“The only people who ever they wound with their gun-control laws are law-abiding citizens. Criminals will always get their guns regardless of the laws,” Henry said.

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