Arizona AG Mayes: Phoenix’s transfer of unclaimed guns to Ukraine violates state law

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes says Phoenix's plan to send confiscated guns to Ukraine is unlawful and blasted laws restricting getting rid of firearms.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:56 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:25 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — An investigation by the attorney general’s office found the city of Phoenix’s authorization of transferring guns to Ukraine was deemed unlawful. On Wednesday, Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office announced the transfer violated three state statutes.

Among the findings, the Phoenix ordinance violates regulations that require agencies to sell unclaimed firearms to authorized businesses. In addition, the AG’s office says the regulation of firearms is a statewide matter. Previously, the Phoenix City Council approved a plan allowing 500 to 600 firearms to be transferred to a private company that transported the weapons to Ukraine.

In a statement, Mayes called the state’s statutes “offensive to the victims of crime and communities affected by gun violence.”

“That is an insult to the survivors and victims of the original gun violence,” she said. “These laws perpetuate a cycle where weapons are reintroduced into the very communities that have already been harmed by gun violence. The families of people who are murdered or maimed by gun violence should not have to live with the knowledge that those weapons are still on the streets.”

The complaint against Phoenix was filed last month by Republicans Rep. Quang Nguyen and Rep. Selena Bliss. “While the City’s intent here is commendable, the Legislature has chosen to prohibit this type of creative solution. Instead of filing complaints against cities like Phoenix, members of the legislature should focus on passing sensible gun legislation,” Mayes added.

Phoenix now has 30 days to comply with the order. The report’s full findings are below.

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