Despite objections, Phoenix will sell forfeited guns to public

Published: Friday, February 24, 2023 - 4:44pm
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2023 - 5:50pm

Some Phoenix leaders don’t like it, but the city will sell 1,400 firearms to the public. The handguns, rifles and shotguns were turned into police after courts ordered the owners to forfeit them. Arizona law requires cities to sell forfeited firearms or risk losing state funding.

“I don’t think Phoenix should be forced into the business of selling weapons,” said Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari.

She and fellow council members Carlos Garcia, Betty Guardado and Laura Pastor voted against a contract with Sierra Tactical Auctions, with proceeds going to the city’s general fund.

“We’re the ones closest to the communities that actually suffer from gun violence and have a duty to create a safer city,” Ansari said.

Mayor Kate Gallego says state law requires cities to sell forfeited firearms, “I think it’s important as a body that makes ordinances to follow laws and follow court orders, even when we disagree with them.”

She said she is working with Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Longdon (District 24) on a bill to give cities the ability to 'make more decisions' when it comes to firearms. In 2017, Tucson lost its legal battle to destroy firearms that had been confiscated or turned in.

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