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Phoenix to send unclaimed firearms to National Police of Ukraine

Phoenix leaders have unanimously approved a plan to send firearms to police in Ukraine. It’s the first time the City Council has approved donating unclaimed firearms outside the U.S.  

Arizona law requires  cities to sell forfeited firearms — that includes handguns, rifles and shotguns turned into police after courts ordered the owners to forfeit them. But there is no requirement for  unclaimed firearms — essentially they end up in the police department’s lost and found. After 30 days, Phoenix can sell or donate them. 

The city expects to ship between 500 and 600 firearms valued at about $200,000 to the National Police of Ukraine. It’s a law enforcement agency approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce to receive them. A Phoenix spokesperson said the National Police of Ukraine previously received unclaimed firearms from the Miami Police Department.

According to a Phoenix council report, "Only 9mm, 45mm, 39mm and 12 gauge firearms will be sent."

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.