November 9, 2015
In years past, the city would have turned most of this hardware into scrap metal.
But in 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law S.B. 350, which required local governments to make an effort to return firearms to “innocent owners”. The law also requires local governments to auction off all confiscated but unclaimed firearms to a properly licensed FFL dealer.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner understands what the law requires when it comes to the city’s captured arsenal. “We have an obligation to re-sell that, re-bid that, and get that to gun purchasers so they can re-sell those,” But the police chief added “The city of Atlanta has NOT done that.” To put those firearms back on the street would be “catastrophic,” Turner said. Even though the law requires the city to perform this at least every six months, this has not been done in the last 3 Years.
Throughout his tenure Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been a cautious opponent of gun violence. He joined a coalition of mayors formed by billionaire and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop illegal trafficking in firearms.
The 2012 state gun-auction law includes no penalties for non-compliance on the city’s part. Even so, legal exposure is surely one reason for caution on the mayor’s part.
Among gun rights organizations in Georgia, Georgia Carry is the most aggressive when it comes to courtroom challenges. John Monroe, attorney for the group, confirmed that he and his friends will be examining the possibility of a lawsuit to force the city to obey state law.