Home>Local>Maricopa>AG Mayes Joins GOP Reps Opposing Phoenix Shipment of Guns to Ukraine

A collection of weapons, July 30, 2007. The City of Phoenix plans to donate 599 unclaimed firearms to Ukraine's national police force. (Photo: Richard Lewis/Flickr)

AG Mayes Joins GOP Reps Opposing Phoenix Shipment of Guns to Ukraine

Rare Moment of Bipartisanship Between State Electeds

By Steve Kirwan, September 22, 2023 9:29 am

In a rare instance of bipartisanship, Arizona’s Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes joined with Representatives Quang Nguyen (R-1) and Selina Bliss (R-1) to condemn the City of Phoenix’s unlawful shipment of unclaimed guns to Ukraine. In a report released today, Mayes’ office confirmed that City of Phoenix ordinance S-50010, allowing the donation of 599 unclaimed firearms to Ukraine’s national police force, violated multiple state laws, including Arizona Revised Statute 12-943, 12-945, and 13-3108(A).

In a joint statement, Nguyen and Bliss, House Judiciary Chairman and Vice Chair, respectively, filed a joint statement expressing concern.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, pictured here at a Chamber of Commerce & Industry event in Phoenix on June 6, 2023, is accused of ‘willfully disregarding a state law to rush firearms’ to Ukraine. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“It is frustrating that Mayor Kate Gallego and Councilmembers were informed of this as far back as July 3, yet Mayor Gallego then willfully disregarded state law and rushed the transfer of these firearms abroad. Then, while a pending investigation into the ordinance’s legality was underway, the City attempted to cancel the arrangement altogether to avoid the Attorney General’s report.”

The statement continues, “That’s not leadership, it’s shameful. As public officials, it is imperative that we uphold the rule of law and respect our state constitution. Witnessing Mayor Gallego blatantly neglect this responsibility, especially with full awareness of the law and its implications, is disheartening.”

Mayor Gallego blames Republican lawmakers for blocking her plans by passing the law in 2000. It specifies that selling to licensed firearms dealers is the only way to dispose legally of weapons in city possession.

In a quote in the Daily Independent, the Mayor stated, “State leaders must do better to prioritize public safety and give cities the tools to keep guns used in violent crimes from re-entering our communities.”

Rep. Nguyen responded, “We’re not handing these guns out like candy on Halloween to just about anybody.” He stated they’re being “sold back to law-abiding citizens” who must pass background checks.

A similar ruling made in 2005 by the city of Tucson, specifying the destruction of all seized weapons, was similarly challenged by then-AG Mark Brnovich. The city lost.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Steve Kirwan
Spread the news:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *