|Save the gun laws are here|
|Save the gun laws are here|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
According to multiple media reports, a new law going into effect this week in North Carolina law will prevent law enforcement officials from destroying unclaimed guns and firearms acquired through gun buyback programs. The "save the gun" law passed the state legislature in the spring as North Carolina strengthened gun rights protections in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
According to the new law, law enforcement agencies must donate, keep or sell confiscated guns to licensed gun dealers.
The only firearms that may be destroyed are those with damaged or missing serial numbers, according to the report.
In the past what happened to guns confiscated or collected by police was largely a matter for local law enforcement leaders and mayors. The move to strip judges and local police's options in dealing with unclaimed guns was backed by the National Rifle Association.
"It is critical for you to contact your state Representative TODAY and urge her or him to oppose any efforts to amend H 714 in a way that will allow any discretion by judges or law enforcement to destroy lawful functioning firearms," read an email sent out by the NRA's lobbying arm while the bill was being debated.
Back in July North Carolina legislators approved a bill that allows concealed-carry permit holders to take firearms into bars and restaurants and other places where alcohol is served.
That law also allows concealed-carry permit holders to store weapons in locked cars on the campus of any public school or university. Guns will also be allowed on greenways, playgrounds and other public places.
Similar laws prohibiting the destruction of firearms by law enforcement agencies have been passed recently in other states as well, including Kentucky and Arizona, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In Texas, lawmakers are going even further. A new law there allows law enforcement agencies across Texas to sell guns that have been confiscated or collected to law-abiding citizens.
Larger agencies say they will not sell confiscated weapons back to the public for fear of putting more guns on the street and potentially into the hands of criminals.
Smaller departments say this new law is a godsend because it will help alleviate budget issues. Additionally, some people have a hard time with the concept of guns being destroyed.
"I hate to see a good weapon destroyed," said McGregor, Texas Assistant Police Chief James Burson.
He says House Bill 1421 is a good thing for his department. By selling weapons they've confiscated, Burson says McGregor PD could make money to use for other necessities.
"It'll give us some funding to purchase new weapons for our officers to buy ammunition for qualifications. It'll give us just a little bit more to operate on," Burson told reporters.
In addition police can save on the purchase of new firearms by issuing confiscated guns to officers.
"We seized an AR-type weapon. That's something that we can put into service with our officers. That's a 12 to 15 hundred dollar firearm," said Burson.
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