NRA board member threatened lawsuit over Arizona gun buyback

An event in Tucson to buy back guns had one NRA member considering legal action

By Jillian Rayfield
January 10, 2013 4:21AM (UTC)
main article image
(Chantal de Bruijne via Shutterstock)

To mark the second anniversary of the Tucson shootings, police in Arizona held a gun buyback and acquired 206 guns that it planned to destroy. But one NRA board member threatened to sue over the event because, "We do believe that it is illegal for them to destroy those guns."

NPR reports that Todd Rathner, a lobbyist in the state and a member of the national board of the NRA, argued that destroying the guns violated Arizona law, and he is now considering a lawsuit against the city. "If property has been abandoned to the police, then they are required by ARS 12-945 to sell it to a federally licensed firearms dealer, and that's exactly what they should do," he said.


NPR also reported that the "Tucson city attorney calls that a misreading of the law."

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Republican , said he'd been getting threats over the event.  "I've been getting emails. I've been getting phone calls in the office trying to shut this thing down or 'We're going to sue you' or 'Who do you think you are?'"


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

MORE FROM Jillian Rayfield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Arizona Gabrielle Giffords Gun Control Nra Tucson