Question of the Day: Should Cops Destroy Confiscated Weapons? by Robert Farago | Feb 18, 2011 | 13 comments facebook twitter linkedin email comments John Fritz says: February 18, 2011 at 11:59 Ah, DeKalb County. Home of my college Alma mater and also one of the best Waffle House’s outside the perimeter. These guns should be auctioned off along with all the other property the police steal from people. If the serial number on the gun is clean then why not send it along to a new owner? The gun isn’t illegal, just the guy who previously owned it. Reply mitch127 says: February 18, 2011 at 12:21 I don’t have any sympathy for pleas of “we need more money” from organizations that destroy valuable property. Budgets are tight, quit making things worse imo. Reply Jeff says: February 18, 2011 at 12:39 Didn’t the DA just flip the safety on the AK and claim that engaging it made it a select fire weapon? Reply Jeff O. says: February 18, 2011 at 15:07 Yes, yes he did. Reply Sean says: February 18, 2011 at 13:49 The crappy and unsafe ones, yes. The nice and cool ones,they should legally sell to raise funds. Reply Ralph says: February 18, 2011 at 14:12 The guns can’t be sold for a few reasons. First, potential liability. If one of them goes ka-blooey instead of bang, someone might end up suing someone. Second, politics. Guns are baaaaad — just ask Mayor Blamebag. No PD goes looking for that kind of heat. Third, image. If a gun sold by the PD were to end up being used in a crime, that would be very embarrassing. Finally, economics. Many manufacturers don’t want any more of their guns in the secondary market for obvious reasons. Reply Jeff says: February 18, 2011 at 14:52 “First, potential liability. If one of them goes ka-blooey instead of bang, someone might end up suing someone.” Yeah? That’s a great argument for why you should toss the shoddy guns, but what about the higher quality ones? If you’re that concerned, set aside 5% of the sale price and buy insurance like every other business on the face of the planet. “Many manufacturers don’t want any more of their guns in the secondary market for obvious reasons.” I agree with this and your other points – but what might actually make a great deal of sense is to create a program whereby the guns are sold to gun brokers at a discounted rate. In order to participate, the gun broker would need to avoid selling their guns to criminals and not have many guns traced back to their store. By creating a financial incentive to FOLLOW the law (access to cheaper used guns), the overall gun crime rate might drop while the city raises some cash. Reply Ralph says: February 18, 2011 at 14:57 All true — but there’s no getting around the politics. Reply Jeff O. says: February 18, 2011 at 15:11 Wait…wait…wait! How did convicted felons get guns?! They know they aren’t allowed to have them! Reply Jayson R says: February 18, 2011 at 20:48 As wasteful as it is, I think that destroying the weapons is the most practical solution for getting them out of storage (which costs taxpayer’s money). I opt for destruction because when confiscated items can be used as a revenue stream there are those who will be inclined to confiscate more in order to help budgets. Such abuse already happens with cars being seized and sold in connection with drug crimes even when no charges are filed. Swap out the word “gun” for “drug” in the current laws that allow property seizure and sale to get an idea of how easily this could be abused. I know some folks who carry pistols far more valuable than their cars and doubt they would get much sympathy in the press/public opinion if their weapons were “legally” seized and sold at auction after being stopped for a speeding violation. Hopefully my concern is really just my hyperbolic paranoia. Ideally, with no profit or liability to the confiscating agency, these weapons would be funneled into something like the Civilian Marksmanship Program ( http://www.odcmp.com/about_us.htm ) . Reply Aaron says: February 18, 2011 at 21:25 I could be wrong, but my understanding is that in Arizona police are obligated to not destroy confiscated weapons, but instead sell them. To whom, I’m not sure, but I agree that it’s better than destroying them. Reply Papa George says: February 19, 2011 at 02:43 Police in most States can (and should) sell confiscated guns at auction. My town requires each buyer to sign a waiver of any right of recourse regarding the safety and/or fitness of the gun for any use at all. Each buyer assumes their own risk. That document, signed in front of and witnessed by a Judge, takes care of the liability problem. That being said, we never offer for sale anything which appears to be dangerous or damaged in any functional way. Any guns not sold at the auction are “batched” and sold to gun shops for parts… Reply Guido says: February 19, 2011 at 10:15 Ok, so the police body armor won’t stop the .223 round from the Scary Black Rifle. But, lovely uninformed media voice over person, that’s also why you need to destroy the .38 snubbie? Think that one over for a while… Reply Write a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.