Pennsylvania Police Department Destroys $25,000 of Legal Guns

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.

Gun Watch


  1. avatar Scott C. says:

    Just another “feel good” action/measure that doesn’t do any good. SOP for the left

    1. avatar Anonymous says:


      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.

  2. avatar Frank in VA says:

    I hope that’s not a Python at the left edge of the lead photo.

    1. avatar Muzzle Device says:

      Dang, you might be right. I was scanning for Pythons. Didn’t see that one. Saw a nice Smith on the right.

      Someone should push the issue of just how much potenital revenue was lost, and if it was a prudent move to flush cash down the grinder to make a useless point. I know it could be spun into a bad story, but the public will forget and the money will still be real and the history of classic American firearms will be preserves. Well, except for the blowgun. That can be melted for all I care.

      $25k? Should have had Gander Mountain give them a quote. Might have hit $ix figure$.

      1. avatar Frank in VA says:

        OK, it’s not a Python. I found another pic on the police website from a different angle and zoomed in. The whole thing is still stupid, though.

        1. avatar NineShooter says:

          Yeah, I think that’s an anti-Python (a Taurus).

          Here’s another enlarged photo, that shows the scoped revolver is actually a Ruger Redhawk (barrel-mounted scope).

  3. avatar Ken says:

    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.

  4. avatar Madcapp says:

    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.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I sense……..bitterness…….

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Spawned by jealousy?

    2. avatar gunderpun says:

      Why so salty?

    3. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      ” . . .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. . . ”

      And I’ll bet you’re a really fun guy to be around, too.

    4. avatar GS650G says:

      Sounds like someone is speaking from a bad experience.

    5. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Who hurt you, Madcap?

  5. avatar tmm says:

    Goodbye Radom.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

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

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      1st rule of welfare: why make money when you can spend other people’s money.

  7. avatar Skoon says:

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

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      there is a blow gun in there too.

      center row, farthest right. we are safe from the evil ninjas too.

  8. avatar G Steele says:

    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!”

  9. avatar Tim says:

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

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

  10. avatar MLee says:

    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.

  11. avatar TruthTellers says:

    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?

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      What do gay people have to do with this?

      1. avatar PDW says:

        Autocorrect changed “hoplophobic”? to “homophobic”? ?

  12. avatar James69 says:

    They are trying to boost Gander Mt’s sales…………. Swords?? Really, Swords?

  13. avatar Mark Horning says:

    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.

  14. avatar gunderpun says:

    Seeing those old Marlins hurts the most.

  15. avatar Hannibal says:

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

  16. avatar BRUCE A BOGLE says:

    Stupid is as stupid does comes to mind.

  17. avatar C4SIR says:

    I could be wrong, but is there Luger in the group? I think there is? I weep silently

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      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.

  18. avatar Tom W. says:

    And of course the Assault Tactical Blow Dart middle right.

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


  19. avatar Quasimofo says:

    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.

  20. avatar Anon says:

    My guess is some did not get to the shredder. Bet the cops have some nice ones.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      lol if only it worked that way

  21. avatar Anon says:

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

  22. avatar Alfonso Alfredo Rodriguez says:

    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.

  23. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    And people wonder why I argue against pay raises, pensions and benefits for cops…

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      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.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        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.

        1. 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…

  24. avatar samuraichatter says:

    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.

  25. avatar Mort says:

    Next time take them to a gun store and sell them!

  26. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

    One Luger pistol and an Enfield Mk4. I hate to see those things destroyed.

    1. avatar Patrick says:

      and the Remington Rollingblock No 4

  27. avatar cisco kid says:

    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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