Tucson Has Destroyed Thousands Of Guns Since 2013

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Rep. Mark Finchem ruffled a few feathers this month when he filed a request with the Arizona Attorney General to open an investigation into the alleged destruction of guns by the City of Tucson in violation of Arizona statute. If the allegations are true, the City of Tucson could lose its share of state sales tax revenue.

Mismanagement has forced the Tucson City Council to call this month for an increase in its regressive sales tax. Tucson’s current 2 percent sales tax is capped by the City’s charter. A change of the charter requires voter approval. The City Council hopes voters will approve an increase of the 2 percent tax, which impacts the poor to a greater extent, by ½ percent.

Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham during his re-election race said the City was broke. “We’ve cut all the fat there is,” said Cunningham.

Yet, it appears that City officials are willing to risk the $177 million in shared revenue by ignoring Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3108.

A.R.S. 13-3108 provides the state with the right to regulate firearms. Section F specifically prohibits “any agency or political subdivision of this state and any law enforcement agency in this state” from facilitating “the destruction of a firearm or purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm for the purpose of destroying the firearm…”

Finchem claims that he called for the investigation at the request of constituents. Finchem’s critics have speculated that he alone wanted an accounting. However, given the fact that even many of the most liberal residents of Tucson own guns, and in the FY 2017 budget the City received $177.7 million, it isn’t hard to imagine that many residents are clamoring for the City not to risk losing money by destroying guns.

It is tough to ask the working poor for a sales tax increase while risking $177.7 million.

“I filed a public records request with the City of Tucson to obtain all records related to the destruction of firearms that had significant market value, some of which had significant collectable value in excess of $10,000. Under ARS 13-3108(F), which is part of Arizona’s criminal statutes, the majority of these firearms are treated as a public asset and should have been auctioned off to the highest bidder after a proper records and background check. The proceeds of the sales would have gone to the City of Tucson general fund”, said Rep. Finchem in a press release.

“Aside from the appearance that the City of Tucson flagrantly violated state statutes and deprived the taxpayers of the opportunity to obtain fair-market value of a public asset, it is clear that the City did not provide all of the documentation sought in the records request since policies, emails, and other written communications are missing from the records delivered to my office,” continued Finchem.

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik claims the statute is unconstitutional and as a result supports the continued violation of it. Kozachik, who is a fan of controlling nearly everything but his own bodily functions, appears to revel in power struggles with the state.

Unfortunately for Kozachik, the City can’t violate any law it wants unless it is willing to pay the price of a violation. Because the court has generally sided with the state, and a challenge would be costly in both attorney fees and loss of shared revenue perhaps it would be wiser to examine how much money the City is spending on lobbyists. If Kozachik’s view is widely accepted, then a repeal of the offending statute should not be that tough, and would be much cheaper in the long run.


  1. Twenty one years ago the City of Tucson and the Pima County Board of Supervisors wasted a combined $25,000 of taxpayer’s money on one of their moronic gun “buybacks”, as though they ever owned the firearms to begin with.
    Some of the comments from the, then Board members included the following:
    Paul Marsh: “Well, we have to do something.” Apparently it didn’t matter that wasting tax payer’s money wasn’t going to do a thing for reducing crime, but, rather prompted them to commit crime. They claimed the money was going to a local social service organization, Nos Otros. That would have been illegal. The scheme involved using the money to purchase $50. Vouchers to use at the El Con Mall, in exchange for turning in your firearm.
    No questions would be asked and they assured everyone that no police would be present.
    When confronted with the possible violation of Arizona law, they claimed they would change the benefactor. They claimed that two or three times. I’m not a real attorney, but I believe that’s called, money-laundering when you change the benefactor in order to cover up where the money is going.
    The fact is, they lied about changing the benefactor and did, in fact give it to to Nos Otros. How do I know? Because I got a copy of the warrant (what you and I call a check, governmental agencies call a warrant or draft).
    When the county was sued over their lying about where the money went, a city magistrate answered a 15-page brief, which included a copy of the warrant – front and back with a one-line answer: “The county is justified in giving this money to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office under “preserving the peace” and “crime prevention”. THE MONEY DIDN’T GO TO THE PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT; it went to Nos Otros – the organization that seemingly received money it wasn’t legally permitted to receive for that purpose.
    Board member Ed Moore stated he didn’t think the buyback had much to do with, “preventing crime”, but he was going to vote for it anyway. The following week the Tucson Weekly did a full-page article titled, “Panderer of the Week”.
    Then, board member, Raul Grijalva sarcastically and gratuitously blurted out, “Everyone should own a machine gun!” Not sure how that was relevant to the subject of wasting taxpayer’s money on a scheme that had no chance of achieving its intended purpose of reducing crime. As a matter of fact we set a homicide record the following week, as I recall.
    Long-story-short, the wasted taxpayer money didn’t reduce crime, they lied about where the money went, the Pima County sheriff’s Department spokesperson admitted 30% of guns were non-working but it didn’t matter. It made the people feel safer and made the local politicians appear to be more concerned with reducing crime than the rest of us. As a matter of fact on December 26, 1995 the Arizona Daily Star ran a lengthy editorial titled, Legal Shootout over Nothing opined, “…the buy-back was not a failure. It yielded about 600 firearms, about 30 percent of them inoperable, but still a success in the view of the Sheriff’s Department and elected officials. I am shocked! Nay, mortified! Ok, maybe not. I would expect them to say nothing less. Did anyone expect them to say, “Wow, that really turned out to be a Charlie Foxtrot.”
    The editorial went on to claim, “Isn’t this what the community wants – to get guns, even just 600 of them, even broken ones, out of circulation?” To quote “Creek” Johnson in the movie, Tombstone, “I ain’t got the words.” NO, I would like to get criminals out of circulation and believe me, there was a lot more than 30% of them inoperable. I personally witnessed people turning in a rifle stock – just the stock, with no action, for a $50. Voucher to go to the mall.
    Another item overlooked by these sagaciously-challenged “leaders” of the community is the following hypothetical. Let’s assume I just murdered someone and let’s assume that firearm is the only thing tying me to the murder. The City of Tucson and the Pima County Board of Supervisors assured me that I could take that one piece of evidence tying me to the murder to a place where I’ve been assured there were no police officers and no questions asked. Not only would they destroy that piece of evidence, they would give me a $50.00 voucher to take to the mall. It doesn’t get any better than that!
    Liberal politicians – especially anti-gun liberal politicians (but I repeat myself), don’t care how many laws, local, state, federal or Constitutional they break. It’s all about (falsely), appearing to care more about reducing crime than the rest of us and it helps to throw in, “It’s for the kids.” It isn’t, but it sounds good. But, that’s just me.

  2. We’re becoming more and more accustomed to flagrant violations and scandals being the depressing norm from local city to national politics. It is either a law or it isn’t. If Mr. K xoesn’t like a law…he should work to change it…not just be arbitrary and capricious in its execution. The rest of us don’t have the luxury to ignore or flagrantly disobey a law we don’t like.

  3. We have to get the state to punish local pols so the stupid voters can finally feel the pain, and then the lying media will lie to them about whose fault it really is. Circular motions. Welcome to Tucson.

  4. I have serious concerns about him laws. The NRA and others who make untold $$$ and buy off our Congress.

    That being said the Law is the Law. Yes I agree completely that both County & City elected folks think the Law applies to everyone but them.

    This is why out streets are crumbling, infrastructure as a whole need to be addressed promptly. How do you change state law? You elected Legislative Representative who will push the agenda of the people for the people. We DO NOT ignore the law.

    Someshinning examples say Bonds , donation to favorite charity, appointment of Nanos, City Council members loose the vote in there Wards yet City pushes keep current ssystem favors the good ole boys.

    I could go on and on. To you Mark Fitchum I say apply the law and get your peers at Legislature to levy appropriate sanctions/penalty for failure to comply.

    The City just like Board of Supervisors will continue to act and Vote against the will of people and Law. Go get them 😁.

  5. These numbers don’t add up… Where did the extra guns that were destroyed come from? Where did the guns go that weren’t destroyed transferred or auctioned? Where do they get hands on this many guns in the first place? Criminal cases?

  6. COTUS, Article VI. This constitution “shall be the supreme Law of the land”.

    COTUS, 2nd Amendment. “the RIGHT to keep and bear arms shall NOT be Infringed”

    Arizona Constitution, Article 2, Section 26. “The RIGHT of the Individual citizen to bear arms shall NOT be Impaired”.

    A.R.S. 13-3108. “Right to regulate fire arms” is Un-constitutional by BOTH the COTUS and Arizona Constitution.

    Too my knowledge, this RIGHT has NOT been approved and Amended by “We the people” in either Constitution.

    It amazes me how politicians can go to college and come out so STUPID by NOT being able to understand, or comprehending, the meaning of the words in these 2 Document’s.

    obummer, HITLERy and the DEMONcrats over the last, almost 8 years, have shown that they utterly HATE the COTUS and Arizona Constitution, and will do anything, LEGAL or Illegal, to completely DESTROY them……..GO TRUMP, GO TRUMP, GO TRUMP.

  7. And we continue to keep getting screwed by the people that supposedly work for us. Special K “feels’ the statute is unconstitutional so he thinks he’s above the law and has the right to ignore it. Where have we seen this before? Trickle down arrogance and stupidity. Destroying valuable inert objects because of a sick ideology is done only out of spite! As a collector of historic military small arms this makes me sick. These arms could be rendered paper weights by simply removing the firing pins and then stored away. Worst case, they could be sold for triple their value by parting them out on eBay! At least they wouldn’t be destroyed. This should be a felony crime. Living under a Dictatorship is not coming, it’s already here. Like ‘Biden the badass said about trump, I’d love to catch this guy in an ally sometime (when he wasn’t busy exposing himself) and make him wish he had “just brought his shotgun”….hypothetically speaking of course.

  8. Just another citing of Pima county and the city of Tucson acting out with yet another example of who cares if we’re breaking the law, we’re elected and are above it anyway.
    The best one was Steve K last week ruining his face publicly claiming this its all partisan politics while never once being adult enough to admit the city is infact breaking the law. Boo hoo, it’s tantrum time with little Stevie, need a tissue?
    If it truly wasn’t so sad, it’d be laughable at how these misguided delusional demi Gods feel that while it’s okay to represent the public, it’s even better to drive their personal agendas even if it’s illegal and outside of the public’s interests.
    The Tucson city court (Tucson’s own cash cow) is full of people who thought it was ok to break the law, people who thought the law didn’t apply to them, and the city will charge them, fine them and punish them to the fullest extent possible, and yet this same attitude of lawlessness doesn’t just exist at city hall, it flourishes….
    Because of inept corrupt politics the city acts out, the county does the same thing with its own lawlessness Bronsoon (you gotta love that name)/ Dingleberry agendas, so it falls on the state to enforce it’s laws on rouge cities and counties.
    And of course you have to ask yourself, is TPD so stupid it didn’t know it was violating state law by destroying firearms or are they just another cog on the wheel of corrupt cronyism?
    Always amazing how the spoiled brat left cries out about the unfairness of the world, and yet plays outside the rules to always win at every rigged game.
    Its high time we held local government accountable for their actions and misdeeds. Would it be ok if they fart in your home and expect you to just smell it until it’s gone, they never once say pardon me. Instead there elected officials and feel themselves above not just the law, but above even common courtesy.
    Who knows, Steve K might look good in a florescent orange jumpsuit…
    Chairman Moa had his tunic suit, Hillary has her ugly pant suits and most local politicians should all soon be wearing DOC orange jump suits….


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