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In Pennsylvania, Abington police destroyed 185 guns they had been collecting since 1998.


In January, 2017 Abington Police disposed of 185 guns that had accumulated in secure evidence storage since 1998. The guns were ones that had been surrendered to APD for disposal or that otherwise could not be returned to a qualified owner.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office obtained a court order for APD authorizing the disposal of these guns and on January 26, 2017 these guns were disposed of under the watchful eyes of Abington Police Evidence Custodians.

The guns were taken to a foundry where they were first put through a shredding process and then the remnants were melted down in a high temperature furnace. 

Too bad the guns weren’t sold to fund police department activities; the guns likely would have fetched about $25,000 at auction.

From the photo, there appear to be only a couple of guns that had been illegally shortened. There are a couple of decent classic lever actions, one AK clone, and quite a few decent pistols, including what appears to be a scoped Smith & Wesson 629. There are lots of hunting rifles and shotguns.

These guns were collected over 18 years. That comes to about 10 guns a year, or less than a gun a month. Most of them were likely turned in by widows or other inheritors who didn’t know what to do with them. The rest were probably recovered as stolen merchandise that couldn’t be traced back to their legitimate owners.

The department press release pointedly avoided connecting the guns to any crime. It appears the Abington PD brass simply seem to get a psychic charge out of destroying valuable property.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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    • Sucks.

      Saw an Austrian Steyr 1912 and a WW2 enfield in there. There was no reason why they couldn’t just sell them to a local gun shop. I spotted two sawed off rifles. The rest were legal. Shame – and for the tax payers too.

  1. Such a shame. From the pictures there appears to be the usual assortment of cheaper stuff (hi points, ravens, etc) but I saw a pre-64 model 94 Winchester, several s&w revolvers, a beretta 92/m9, what looked like a model 70, and some nice older S&W automatics, on top of that nice scoped 629.

  2. I see a lot of “grandpa guns” there….common grade junk that gets the steel wool and WD-40 treatment every 10 years to try to scrub through the disinterest, lack of care, and outright neglect. The kind of crap with 95% of the bluing gone that old men try to unload at local gun shows in the hopes that some day, if it sells, they can buy that Remington 1911 government model that they’ve been dreaming about…and maybe pass it down to their pillbilly grand kids someday.

  3. Government and fiduciary responsibility are generally mutually exclusive. When it comes to proper management of finances the terms are mutually exclusive.

  4. Anyone else notice the hatori hanzo speeds in the corner. Thank god that no samurai can get their hands on those

  5. Oh, how I’d love to get a fund-raising request from that Police Department so that I could print and attach this article and return it with a simple message: “Suck it!”

  6. 185 guns confiscated in ~20 years? So like, less than one per month on average?

    This is evidence to support the “illegal gun epidemic”?

  7. You can be sure that any really valuable gun is in the possession of a chief, or captain. That one of the perks of being a cop.

  8. They destroyed swords too? WTF?

    Yup, this is government under homophobic Progs. They can destroy all these things and say the world is a safer place, but next time the pig farm needs the funds for a new squad car, they’re gonna take the money from the people instead of auctioning off what’s in those pictures.

    Government is a great thing, isn’t it?

  9. And this is why we had to pass a State Law forbidding municipalities from doing so.

    Tuscon of course ignored the law. So we changed it to have teeth (loss of state revenue). The still didn’t learn, so now the State AG is taking action to smack them.

  10. I’m not gonna cry over some ugly tec-9 or dime-store ‘samuri’ swords but save the lever guns and nice revolvers!

    • Yes, one of the handguns looks like a Luger, but it could be a .22 copy or an Airsoft-type plastic BB gun, for all we know.

      Heck, there is a Buck-style folding knife in the photo, too; hardly an evil assault weapon, that.

  11. And of course the Assault Tactical Blow Dart middle right.

    Had to certainly keep that silent implement of death away from the people.


  12. Damn, that’s my hometown. Too bad, looks like there might have been a few potential gems among that junk. I guess they’ll have to make up the lost $$ by pulling over even more “city people” zooming along 232.

  13. Hate to see working guns destroyed, even crappy ones or murder weapons. It’s a tool, plain and simple. What a shame.

  14. Stupid is as stupid does. They prefer to destroy the weapons instead of making money by auctioning them. They treated the weapon as evil objects instead of the tools they are (some are very expensive and fine weapons). Well, nobody has ever accused police departments of being lead by smart people since most of its members are just dumb uneducated asses.

    • And well they should.

      Policies like this are not made by the rank-and-file officers; this requires a political decision, made by a police chief, mayor, city commission, or higher. Individual street-level officers through sergeants deserve our support, at least until until such time that they personally prove themselves to be scumbags, IMO.

      • The rank-n-file are responsible for executing such policies, which in this case is a clearly fraudulent expropriation of private property. They are parties to the commission of a crime under the color of law, and they know it.

        • I know of officers who had quite a collection of guns that citizens turned in to them to “be disposed of”. A lot of those guns do not end up in the police department collection.

          Such discretion is unlikely to happen as body cameras become universal. This should be separated from officers who use discretion to take a gun without a receipt, in return for a verbal warning…

  15. I am willing to bet money that is not all the guns that have been confiscated. I am sure there are at least a few stashed around Abington that never made their way to evidence lockers.

  16. Its amazing how ignorant the public is these days. You would think with the internet it would take them only minutes to find out about what there guns were worth that they did not want anymore. Yet these Morons take them into gun by back programs where they get almost nothing for them. And of course the Police burn them up when they could make thousands selling them. They even burn up rare historical collector items.

    From the Cops point of view they know that if they do sell them to a firearms dealer there is no guarantee they may end up in a sensational terrorist or murder case and then the Police must bear the News Media firestorm that will ensue as the News Media hates gun with a passion. So this is the real reason the Police burn up thousands of dollars of guns all the time. Sad of gun collectors but in the U.S. with no vetting of all gun sales the used guns often do end up in crimes as they are sold and resold with no vetting and many times end up in the wrong hands.

    So in conclusion the Police would be more inclined to sell the guns they confiscate if we had mandatory vetting of all gun sales and we would have lot less crime to boot. Something the paranoid Far Right will never admit to.


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