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GA: Anti-Gun Senators Attemp to Legislate Destruction of Valuable Firearms

In 2012, the Georgia Legislature passed a statute to prevent valuable firearms from being destroyed by police. Instead, the statue requires that firearms in possession of police, whether confiscated, seized, or otherwise acquired, be sold to legal dealers, with the proceeds to cover administrative costs.  The surplus goes into the general fund of the administering political subdivision.

Similar provisions have been enacted in other states to prevent the destruction of valuable assets. Assets that could be sold for the public good.

Once the law went into effect, a number of political subdivisions in Georgia have violated the law with impunity. The chief of them is the City of Atlanta, which pays the cost of warehousing thousands of firearms rather than sell them to legal dealers for the benefit of the public. From 11alive.com:

The law requires police agencies to sell guns confiscated in burglary and robbery cases. A bill has already been filed to repeal it.

The Atlanta Police Department has thousands of confiscated guns sitting in its property room – despite a law on the books requiring APD and other police agencies to do so.

Is it bad when police routinely violate the law? It sets a bad example.  People may wonder what other laws police violate when they have a difference of opinion with legislators. Guns sold at auction by police usually bring between $100 and $200 each.  Atlanta was sitting on at least 6,000 guns more than two years ago.

Atlanta has likely added two thousand more guns since then. Assuming $150 per gun, and eight thousand guns, that is $1.2 million dollars the city refuses to put in its general fund.  The figure does not count the cost of storing and securing the valuable property, or the cost of organizing a sale.

Three Democrat senators, Lester Jackson from Savanna,  Ed Harbison from Columbus, and Gail Davenport from Jonesboro, have introduced legislation to allow police to destroy legal, valuable, guns.  The legislation would amount to the repeal of the 2012 law.

It seems unlikely to pass. The legislature, losing patience with the scofflaw antics of Atlanta and other jurisdictions in Georgia, is more likely to amend the proposed legislation to add penalties for the officials who refuse to follow Georgia law.

That happened in Arizona. Tucson City officials refused to follow a law requiring the sale of firearms. The legislature passed new legislation, that withheld state funds from the City until the City complied with the law. The City fought the law to the State Supreme Court, where they lost. Cities are not above the law. They are not constitutionally separate entities who can chose what state laws to follow, and what state laws to violate.

Will Georgia legislators step up to the plate and stop the scofflaw cites in Georgia from wasting taxpayer resources? We will see in 2018.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

 

 

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