Police in North Carolina can’t destroy weapons they receive in gun buyback programs any more under a new law that takes effect this week.
The “save the gun” law was passed on the backs of Republican lawmakers in the spring, during a time when the fate of gun rights were much-debated in state legislatures around the nation, due to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, Fox News reported.
North Carolina lawmakers wanted to strengthen gun rights, and as part of those discussions, passed a measure that prohibits law enforcement agencies from wantonly wrecking guns received during buybacks, or that are otherwise in the hands of officers, unclaimed.
Instead, police in the state will now have to donate, keep or sell the guns to licensed dealers, AP reported.
The weapons can only be destroyed in cases of damage or if serial numbers are scratched off, Fox News reported.
Previous to the law’s passage, police needed to obtain a judge’s order to sell or destroy buyback weapons. But lawmakers – backed by the National Rifle Association — saw that as a loophole that needed to be closed, in order to strip away discretion from local judges and police departments.