Gov. Jan Brewer made headlines in April when she signed a bill that allowed U.S. citizens in Arizona to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The Arizona Republic says some are questioning a provision that pushes local police departments to resell confiscated weapons to authorized gun dealers. Peoria, a Phoenix suburb won’t do it; Peoria police fear the resale could put weapons into the wrong hands. Sen. Russell Pearce, who proposed the law, plans to fix the “loophole” that agencies are using to “skirt the law” and destroy “perfectly good weapons.”
The Republic could find only one nearby city that routinely sells confiscated weapons: Apache Junction. The National Rifle Association says Arizona, Kentucky, and Tennessee are the ony states to require the sale of confiscated weapons. Kentucky and Tennessee are the other two. Spokeswoman Alexa Fritts said the NRA believes selling weapons to an authorized agent ensures the guns go to law-abiding citizens. Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp said the “public interest is better served” by not reselling guns. “We are acutely aware that studies done by the U.S. Justice Department (suggest) that in a lot of violence by drug cartels in Mexico, the weapons may have come from the U.S., and we don’t want to have been involved in any way in their procurement of weapons,” Kemp said. Peoria Police Chief Larry Ratcliff cited recent prominent examples from Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., in which weapons used in crimes were traced back to resales from law-enforcement agencies in Memphis.