Tennessee Police Packs Heat, Then Sells It

You may remember that investigators traced one of the guns used by Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell to the Memphis police. The cops sold the 9mm Taurus to a still-unnamed gun dealer in 2008. You’d think that the resulting PR fallout would end Tennessee’s practice of selling confiscated weapons into the open market. Nu-uh. The Commercial Appeal (a paper whose name lacks commercial appeal) reports that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is packing confiscated guns into barrels (scratch and shoot?) and then flogging “all weapons that are identifiable by serial number, are safe and are in working condition.” Ghoulish collectors will be well pleased. “That means weapons such as the 40-caliber Hi-Point handgun used by Leon Wilson to kill Marquett Crump in January 2006 can be sold to a licensed gun dealer. The gun was in Monday’s batch. Wilson entered a guilty plea for second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years.” And who do we have to thank for this state of affairs?

Before this month, local law enforcement officials decided whether to keep, destroy, trade or sell weapons that came under their jurisdiction. The new law removes the choice. The bill, which passed in the legislature with little debate, had been sought by the National Rifle Association, according to its House and Senate sponsors.”

A murder weapon is a terrible thing to waste. Apparently.

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