Ever wonder what happens to all the guns collected in those highly publicized gun buy-back and turn-in programs? Me too. The usual party line is that they’re destroyed. You know, for the safety of the community. For the children. For something. Dunno about you, but I’ve always been skeptical that they’re all tossed into the smelter. And in at least one Illinois community, a (now former) peace officer apparently couldn’t sit by and watch all those mohaskas to go to waste…
Instead, officer Daniel Ryan, a Clarendon Hills cop, helped himself to some of the booty collected through the city’s unwanted gun turn-in program. Five of them, to be exact. You can’t carry in Illinois, but officer Ryan sure carried a few home.
Among the loot were an Ithaca 1911, a Mossy 590 and a Smith Airweight. You can almost understand why Danny boy would hate to see perfectly nice heaters thrown on the scrap heap. Almost.
Authorities were led to Ryan after the state’s attorney’s office received an anonymous tip in February and worked with the FBI to investigate the disappearance of guns from the Clarendon Hills Police Department evidence room.
Evidence room? Probably pending a trip to the shredder, right? A call to the department to find out how guns from the turn-in program are disposed of wasn’t returned.
According to the department’s press release, “none of the weapons stolen were involved in any crimes and were obtained through a weapons “turn in” program.” No, I’m sure officer Ryan planned to hang on to these heaters for his own personal use.
Kind of makes you wonder what happens to all the other guns collected by other departments that aren’t accounted for in department evidence rooms. Do they track them all they way to their final resting place? Do cops get first dibs on the choice stuff? The world may never know.