Destroying guns is like burning money, why in the heck would anyone ever do it? Right?
I mean, that’s common sense! But as it’s often said, the problem with common sense is that it’s not that common, especially when we’re talking about elected officials.
Tucson city leaders, for example, ordered the destruction of firearms seized and recovered by police for at least a decade before they officially ended the policy this week.
The seven Democrats on the city council voted 4-3 Wednesday to stop not because they saw the error of their ways — but because they were forced to do so. That’s right, the estimated $100,000 the city stood to make off of auctioning firearms to local Federal Firearms Licensees wasn’t enough of a reason (Apparently, the city so awash in taxpayer cash that it doesn’t need an extra $100,000).
What impelled the council to change its mind was a state law that requires cities to sell surplus property to the highest bidder and another law that allows the state attorney general to withhold funding from cities that go rogue.
Had Tucson continued to destroy guns and flout Arizona law, the attorney general could’ve turned off the state-shared revenue spigot to the tune of $57 million. Yeah, that’s what got the council’s attention. Don’t follow the law, no money for you! Of course, even that wasn’t enough to change everyone’s mind. Remember, the vote was 4-3. The resolution passed by only one vote!
That means there were three imbeciles who voted that the existing policy of burning money and breaking the law was the right thing to do.
“I couldn’t make myself vote ‘yes.’ I think it is wrong in every way, shape and form,” said Councilwoman Regina Romero, according to Tucson.com.
She was joined by fellow chuckleheads Steve Kozachik and Karin Uhlich, who also voted “no.”
State Rep. Mark Finchem was the one who blew the whistle on this whole ordeal last year after he found out, by searching city records, that police had allegedly destroyed a gun worth more than $10,000. It was probably the last straw. He then asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate.
“The city of Tucson flagrantly violated state statutes and deprived the taxpayers of the opportunity to obtain a fair-market value of a public asset,” the Finchem, a Republican said in a news release in 2016.
Records show that since 2013, the Tucson Police Department has destroyed 4,280 firearms. Most were recovered during criminal investigations although some were also turned in by their owners. Estimates put the retail value of those guns at around $600,000. Conservatively speaking, the auction to FFLs would yield $100,000 for the city.
While the insanity has been put to rest for now, it may not last too long. The city council has plans to file a lawsuit against SB 1487, the law that gives the A.G. the power to withhold state funding from rogue cities. If members can secure that state-shared revenue, there’s a good chance they’ll revert back to their old ways.