High court ruling forces Tucson to stop destroying confiscated, turned-in guns – Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled the city of Tucson can no longer destroy firearms that have been confiscated by police or turned in by citizens.

In an extensive ruling issued Thursday, the justices voided a 2005 Tucson ordinance that says the Police Department, after it seizes a gun, “shall dispose of such firearm by destroying the firearm.” The court said the local ordinance runs afoul of several state laws.

One law that predates the Tucson ordinance limits local governments from enacting any ordinance dealing with acquisition, licensing, registration or use of firearms. And in 2013, state lawmakers spelled out that if police seize or acquire guns, they must sell them to licensed firearms dealers.

The ruling also upholds the legality of SB 1487, a 2016 law that allows individual lawmakers to direct the Attorney General’s Office to investigate claims that a local law conflicts state statutes. That triggers an automatic investigation that can lead to a city losing half of its state shared revenues. In this case, it was a complaint about the city’s gun destruction program filed by state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, that prompted the investigation.

On Thursday afternoon, city officials said they will abide by the ruling and will rescind the ordinance.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who sued Tucson, called the ruling “a monumental victory for the state of Arizona.”

“Whether you like it or not, it’s a huge victory for the rule of law,” he said. The bottom line, said Brnovich, is that the high court has made it clear that, with only narrow exceptions, if there is a conflict between state law and local ordinances, the local law has to fall.

Rick Rollman, Tucson’s lead attorney in the case,

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US rights group rethinks defending hate groups protesting with guns – Reuters

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union will no longer defend hate groups seeking to march with firearms, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, a policy change that comes on the heels of protests by white nationalists and counter-protesters at the weekend in Virginia.

The newspaper quoted the ACLU’s executive director as saying in an interview that, after violence during the Charlottesville protests, judges, police chiefs and legal groups would be required to “look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb.”

An ACLU spokeswoman confirmed the policy shift and said the concern over weapons was not something the group has had to contend with in the past.

“We’ve had people with odious views, all manner of bigots. But not people who want to carry weapons and are intent on committing violence,” ACLU spokeswoman Stacy Sullivan said in a telephone interview.

White nationalists staged a “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville last weekend over plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park. A number of them carried weapons, according to witnesses and video.

“If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else,” the newspaper quoted Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director since 2001, as saying.

The ACLU’s Virginia branch defended the right of the white nationalists, neo-Nazis and others to rally in the city that is home to the University of Virginia.

For decades, the ACLU has defended rallies by such groups on the grounds that they have constitutional rights to free speech.

Reporting by Andrew Chung in Washington, DC and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Paul Tait

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Grenade, stolen police gun among more than 200 weapons brought in during 'Kicks 4 Guns' event – Orlando Sentinel

In its 19 years, the annual “Kicks 4 Guns” firearm trade-in event in Central Florida has turned up some unusual weaponry — and Thursday’s event did not disappoint.

The usual sawed-off shotguns and stolen firearms came in among the 200-plus guns turned in to area law enforcement agencies this year, but the Sanford Police Department got an extra treat. By 4:30 p.m., someone had turned in a stolen firearm to them that had been swiped from their own agency earlier this year.

The event is no-questions-asked, meaning the resident who turned over the police-issued gun remained anonymous. Law enforcement representatives have said it’s this quality about the program that make it successful.

“Part of the reason this program works so well is because there are no questions asked and we make it clear people will not be identified,” Orlando Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Guido said earlier this week.

Of the 34 guns turned into Orlando Police as of 5 p.m. was a formidable AR-15 rifle, the department said. Winter Park Police reported collecting an inert grenade along with the 29 unwanted firearms they collected. Kissimmee Police reported a big-game hunting rifle was among the 35 guns they collected.

As of 3 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Office had received 133, and Clermont Police Department’s latest tally was at 22. Ocoee police brought in eight rifles at last county, and Winter Park Police Department’s Kicks 4 Guns event ended at 2 p.m. with 29 firearms.

Including the stolen gun, Sanford Police had received 29 firearms as of 5 p.m.

Kicks 4 Guns is held annually, and offers $50 gift cards to people who turn in real firearms to participating agencies’ drop-off locations, no questions asked. The program got its name from its early tradition of

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Bill would make it a crime to leave loaded guns where kids can find them – Lexington Herald Leader

Recklessly storing a gun where children could find and use it would be a crime in Kentucky under a bill that state Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, pre-filed this month for the 2018 legislative session.

Wayne’s bill would require gun owners to use either a gun safe or a gun lock if minors under age 18 were in their homes. Improper firearm storage would be a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, if a child gets access to the weapon. The charge would rise to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, if a minor uses the weapon to hurt or kill someone.

“We’ve had a number of children killed because they were playing with guns that adults left out here in Louisville. It’s just a terrible tragedy,” Wayne said Thursday. “Guns are everywhere now. We’re flooded with guns. And people are so casual about where they leave them.”

The Herald-Leader reported in July that it’s rare in Kentucky for parents to be prosecuted after an accidental child shooting involving an unsecured firearm, despite at least 36 children being shot — 15 fatally — in the preceding five years. Police and prosecutors said they were reluctant to pursue felony charges like wanton endangerment because they sympathized with the parents, or they were not certain that such serious charges would apply to someone guilty of careless gun storage.

“In my reading of the law, it would require someone actually providing (a gun) to them, as compared to just leaving it where they could come across it,” Christian Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor said in 2013. At the time, Pryor declined to prosecute a man who left a loaded .38 caliber revolver on a living room table with his grandchildren present. After the

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Guns Play Oversize Role in Rural Suicides – New York Times

By NICHOLAS BAKALARAugust 17, 2017

Suicide rates are higher in rural counties, according to a new study, and the reason is firearm use by men.

The report, in the American Journal of Public Health, used data on 6,196 suicides of Maryland residents over age 15. They found that the rate of firearm suicides was 66 percent higher in the most thinly populated counties than in metropolitan areas with populations greater than a million. Non-firearm suicide rates in rural and urban counties were roughly the same.

Rates of firearm suicide by women were no different in rural and urban areas, but total suicides by women were 37 percent greater in urban areas.

Men accounted for about 80 percent of all suicides, and nearly 90 percent of gun suicides. The suicide rate in rural settings, the authors conclude, is primarily driven not by lack of access to mental health care or economic disparities, but by men’s preference for suicide by gun, and the wider availability of guns in rural areas.

“Patients with mental health issues should be assessed for gun availability,” said the lead author, Dr. Paul S. Nestadt, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins. “We give out condoms and clean needles to people at risk for H.I.V. Why not give out trigger locks to family members of patients at risk for suicide?”

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