A new law going into effect this week in North Carolina law prohibits law enforcement from destroying unclaimed guns and firearms acquired through gun buyback programs.

The so-called “save the gun” law passed the Republican-controlled Legislature in the spring as the state moved to strengthen gun rights in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The law requires that law enforcement agencies donate, keep or sell confiscated guns to licensed gun dealers. Guns may only be destroyed if they are damaged or missing serial numbers, according to the report.

In the past, North Carolina law enforcement agencies needed a judge’s permission to sell or destroy guns. The move to strip judges and local police’s options in dealing with unclaimed guns was backed by the National Rifle Association.

“It is critical for you to contact your state Representative TODAY and urge her or him to oppose any efforts to amend H 714 in a way that will allow any discretion by judges or law enforcement to destroy lawful functioning firearms,” read an alert issued by the NRA’s lobbying arm while the bill was being debated.

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