Gilbert mayor gets back guns, ammunition - East Valley Tribune: News

Gilbert mayor gets back guns, ammunition

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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 10:54 am | Updated: 12:02 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Gilbert Mayor Steven Berman has been given back his cache of guns and ammunition just weeks after a court commissioner decided he was too volatile to possess the weapons.

The decision to release the guns came Aug. 22 in a Maricopa County Superior Court hearing after Berman’s estranged wife, Michelle, agreed to modify an order of protection against the mayor.

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Lawyers and the judge did not openly discuss the matter during the hearing, only transferring and signing paperwork. And Steve and Michelle Berman and their lawyers wouldn’t comment.

But court filings released late Thursday document the decision.

The order of protection still remains against Steve Berman. He and Michelle are not to be within 150 feet of each other’s residences or have contact by “phone, e-mail, text messaging, in person or through surrogates,” records show.

The same restrictions stand between Michelle Berman and the mayor’s son, Steve Berman Jr.

The weapons were taken from Berman on July 24. The mayor, who has a shooting range in his basement, was forced to turn them over to Gilbert police after the court determined he posed “a credible threat of bodily injury.”

The mayor picked up his guns Wednesday and followed “proper procedures,” Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler said.

It’s not clear how extensive the mayor’s weapons collection is. The Gilbert Police Department has refused to release information showing what kinds of weapons Berman owns or how many.

In response to a public records request last month, the department released several pages of heavily redacted documents, hiding the descriptions, makes, models and values of the weapons.

While an exact number couldn’t be determined, Berman turned over at least 26 items to the agency.

Police officials have said they are keeping the information secret based on a new policy put in place by Police Chief Tim Dorn four days after the Tribune requested the records. The policy references a state identity theft prevention law, which bars governments from releasing someone’s personal information, such as addresses, bank account numbers or credit information.

It says nothing about guns or ammunition.

Tribune writers Nick R. Martin and Dennis Welch contributed to this report.

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