AZ lawmakers look to change gun buyback programs - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AZ lawmakers look to change gun buyback programs

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Getting guns off the street is the idea behind those gun buyback programs popping up across the state and around the country.

Arizona lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a lot harder to give away a gun and have it destroyed.

A recent gun buy back program in Tucson was a big hit with more than 200 firearms collected and destroyed.

HB 2455 is taking direct aim and how these gun buyback programs operate.

HB 2455 would prohibit Arizona towns, cities and law enforcement agencies from destroying any firearm seized or received voluntarily.

It would also require the agency to sell the weapon instead.

State Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) is the bill's sponsor.

"I believe it's a waste to destroy something that can supplement their budget and budget line items," said Barton. "We're at a place in our economy where we need to make the best use of everything we can."

Hildy Saizow, with Arizonans for Gun Safety, is against the bill.

She's said that this is another example of Arizona lawmakers following the National Rifle Association's playbook, looking for any way to keep more guns in circulation, even if it means telling someone who wants to turn in their gun and have it destroyed that they can't do it.

"For decades, Phoenix and Tucson police departments had policies that any guns coming in, whether crime guns or voluntarily surrendered, they' were all destroyed," said Saizow. "That's what police chiefs want, that's what mayors want, that's what crime victims want and that's what citizens want, so it makes no sense for the legislature to be involved."

Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton recently announced a major gun buyback program to take place in May, with the help of the Phoenix Police Department and a $100,000 anonymous donation.

If HB 2455 becomes law that event could be in jeopardy.

HB 2455 has passed the House, and now moves on to the Senate.

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