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Everyone likes a deal, right? And as we detailed earlier this week, new laws enacted in some jurisdictions around the country forbid the destruction of perfectly good firearms that have come into the hands of state and local governments. No matter how they got them. So… “A western Pennsylvania coroner is auctioning off about 100 guns used in suicides and accidental shooting deaths. Coroner Ken Bacha says the Nov. 8 surplus weapons sale is Westmoreland County government’s first since his father was coroner in the 1980s. He says state law requires local governments sell off unclaimed property.” You see where this is going. Assuming the heaters have been thoroughly cleaned of, um, all organic matter, would you buy one?

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    • Yes, I would. And a member of my family currently possesses (and regularly uses) a firearm that another family member used to take his own life, so it’s not a theoretical/what-if around here.

      It’s just a tool, folks. And any other emotional attitude toward a inanimate object puts the emoter side-by-side in the camp with the folks who think guns are evil and their mere presence causes crimes to be committed by otherwise angelic owners.

      • Of course I would and in fact I have. I bought a Ruger 10-22 from the widow of a friend after he killed himself with it. She could not stand to have it when it was returned to her so I offered her the blue book retail for it at the time which she insisted I give instead to his favourite charity (golden retriever rescue) instead which I did in his name.

        The gun did not have any volition in the tragedy (he was in a great deal of pain for many years from a back injury and it got to be to much for him..).

        I do think of him in better times each time I shoot it though

      • +2

        I am superstitious about some things but not this.

        In fact, a gun isn’t even a “weapon” like a sword or a knife… it’s a machine. Sure, the outcome of its function is that of a weapon, but can’t bring myself to think of a gun as anything other than a tool with moving parts.

      • There are such things as heebies and jeebies. I’ve stayed in a hotel room where a suicide took place (a note written on the inside of the bathroom door in magic marker. It had been painted over by the hotel, but I could make out enough of it ti figure out what it was: “jennifer,” “love you so much,” “so sorry,” “goodbye.”) I checked out after one night instead of the three I had booked.

        I don’t believe that a gun becomes cursed or anything after being used for suicide, but if it served as a constant reminder of one of the most tragic acts a person can commit, I wouldn’t want it around.

        But I wouldn’t know until I had one. As for your friends 10/22, I bet that could serve to remind you of the good times, but one from a stranger means the suicide is the only thing you know about them.

  1. Nah, just a cursed engagement ring. Better to melt done and start new.

    Nah, it just adds infamy to a sad event. Think about Ernest Hemingway’s shotgun, Hunter Thompson’s .45, Kurt Cobain’s shotgun, etc.

    • Since those are related to important culture they have a historical value and should be considered to have collectors value

        • You, kook. You evidently know nothing about the music, the times, that scene, who influenced those guys, and the music they influence after. You’re a Music Fudd. You wanna keep Jackson Pollack’s car and claim the it saved the Art World??

    • LOL! I suppose that is the question of the day… you could always stand on a busy street corner and shout “DOES ANYBODY HAVE A COLT PYTHON FOR SALE???”

  2. Yes.

    A gun is a tool, and isn’t inherently responsible for the negligence or choices of its previous owner(s) . Heck, for all I know the police trade in sitting in my safe could very well have sent several people to good old Sheol. Don’t even ask about the past lives of pre-owned cars, hotel rooms , bunks on cruise ships, or **shudder** the history of military basic training quarters, etc.

    • You beat me to it. I was thinking of Police trade ins as well. But no one knows the history of ANY used firearm at your local gun shop. I’d knowingly buy one, but I wouldn’t tell my wife. She has VERY strong beliefs about ghosts and evil spirits, etc. As mentioned above, a Colt Python or Colt National Match Woodsman (fill in your favorite unattainable firearm here) would be almost impossible to pass up for most of us.

      • I have a 1938 Izzy Mosin Nagant 91/30. No way did that red bastard sit out the great patriotic war. How many russian conscrpts died carrying it? How many german grunts died because of it?

        Regardless, the rifle is guilt free.

  3. The right gun at the right price? Heck yeah!

    But, why does the state have it? Wouldn’t it be property of the deceased’s estate/family?

    • The family doesn’t have to take the property. Thus it becomes unclaimed property.

      While you are I may think of the gun as nothing more than an object, the family may well have different feelings, at least for the gun in question.

    • EDIT: Ty wins the speed-keyboarding contest!

      Some folks have no remaining family, or none can be found.

      Other times, the family wants nothing more to do with the tool after it has been “sullied.”

      Finally, I believe in some states it is impounded as criminal evidence, even if used in a suicide. I’ve only heard this second-hand, so no supporting evidence available (anyone who does know of this happening, please add a comment with details).

      • In Florida it’s offered to the family.

        Had a Bryco-Jennings-Lorcin pot-metal crap gun sold to a gunshop I was working at at the time. The Boss commented to me he thought the name looked familiar as he was doing the buy paperwork, and sure enough, the deceased bought the gun a month earlier and the widow sold it back to the shop.

        After the 30 days hold the boss priced it and stuck it in the used gun display.

        And he didn’t even put “Only used once” on the tag…

    • A more strict question, why was the Coroner stockpiling these guns instead of disposing of them? Certainly he hasn’t acquired 100 guns since the law was passed.

  4. Why not. We keep telling the antis that there is nothing to be afraid of since the gun is nothing but steel and plastic. Now is the time to show it.

  5. Yup. As long as the price is decent. A gun is an inanimate object that has no capacity to be either good nor evil.

  6. While Macabre, I have no problem purchasing one.

    If the running logic in these parts is that “its the person” and “not the gun”

    What is the big deal? Someone paid 500K for the guns Bonnie & Clyde used. I am sure that the gun used in the Lincoln assassination went for good money. Al Capone’s Guns?

    I see this as no different

  7. Would you buy a table saw with which the previous owner removed his fingers? Sure, I am not a dip-sh**.

    • Well, that for me would depend on the table saw.

      Did they lose fingers because they were idiots or careless, or was a design problem a contributing factor ?

      • I have known enough experienced people who have lost fingers on table saws to opine that the terms idiot, careless, design flaw and table saw are all redundant!

  8. All other things being equal, why not treat it like any other used gun? No practical reason that I can think of. But then, there’s no practical reason to pull my car off to the side of the road when a funeral comes by either, but I still do it. I might not buy one myself, but I’ll acknowledge there’s no real reason not to. If it was something I really wanted, I probably would buy it.

  9. Sure, if you think about it it’s not much different than buying a milsurp rifle from ww2 era. How many of those have probably been used with lethal effect in combat?

  10. It’s creepy, but at the end of the day it’s a tool. You have no way of knowing what the past of anything that you buy pre-owned. We don’t tear down a bridge or building every time someone jumps from one, and many bridges are infamous for suicides. Why not tear them down, or remove them from use? The structures are directly and forever linked to someone’s death. Why wouldn’t you want to get rid of that history? Because at the end of the day, those structures still useful, and valuable, and too hard to replace. If it was a loved one that was lost, then by all means sell it to someone else if it helps ease the pain.

    The best thing you can do is to take something that someone once meant for evil, and use it for good. Use it to protect your family or take it out the range to spend time with your kids.

    • Israel used former weapons of Nazi Germany in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, like K98ks and MG-34s. When you’re fighting for your life and need a weapon, it doesn’t matter what the history of the tool is, only that you can put it to good use.

      • +1! I was thinking about that too. If I remember right, some of the nazi guns that they had were produced under forced labor in occupied territories, and the occupied workers purposely misaligned the sights so that the nazis couldn’t hit what they were shooting at. The Israelis figured it out when they went to examine why they couldn’t hit anything with the guns they purchased.

  11. Of course i would buy one, it’s just an object…

    …unless it was, as the gun control fascists would have us believe, possessed by evil demons that made the previous owner kill himself, in which case I would not purchase.

  12. Well while I do believe in the idea of various supernatural concepts I don’t believe that the item would be cursed by the suicide. So yes: I would buy a suicide gun. However I wouldn’t go out to specifically buy one. I’d treat it like any part of my collection.

  13. I once had the opportunity to buy a S&W Model 29 that had been used in a suicide. The blue on the barrel and the front part of the cylinder and frame had been badly corroded by the blood and tissue spatter, and the price was a bit high considering the condition, so I passed on the offer.

  14. Suicide guns? I thought they just went off while they were being cleaned?

    But yes, I’d buy one. As long as I dont have to hear details about what happened.

  15. My sister asked me this . She even asked if I would own a gun that was used in a murder if I knew. My answer, ” If it was obtained legally, and a model I wanted, yes.”
    As others said, to me it is only Metal, wood, and plastic.

  16. That would depend on which gun-grabbing, democrat politician last owned it…
    And I wouldn’t go more than 20 bucks. I do have standards.

  17. Absolutely. Unless it was one of those evil black assault rifles…or a Glock. I’ve heard those things have a mind of their own, and probably murdered the previous owner in his sleep.

  18. Initially I thought no, but then it donned on me, how many died after being shot with the sks or M1 in my safe? But suicide is different. If I ever bought one I doubt I’d enjoy it like my others, knowing its history.

  19. It’s a tool. It’s not demon-possessed and it doesn’t have an AI casting a baleful gaze over all that we do. (Well, not yet anyway…)

    So, yes, with two caveats.

    The first caveat is that it be clean and in good condition. Not to put too fine a point on it, blood is very corrosive and if it’s been allowed to damage the gun, not interested.

    The second caveat is that the family of the suicide not know who bought it. I don’t want to have to deal with the potential complications this could bring up.

  20. I’ve brought a number of guns off gunbroker, mostly NIB but a few used, have no idea of the history on the used ones. However it would not matter, gun did not make the decision to off the owner, the owner made that decision And that is between that owner and God, not my place to judge.

  21. I read about this in the prog rag Raw Story, their take was quite different. Their emphasis was that bloodthirsty gun owners were just raring to go out and buy a gun that has actually taken a life. They even went as far as to say that we would pay MORE for a suicide gun because of the story behind it, because you know, gun owners are that sick. Leave it to the statists to twist and obfuscate just about any bit of information to demonize those who disagree with them. They probably jumped that to that conclusion because collectors attach value to guns of infamy, like ones used to kill archdukes. However I seriously doubt there’s a significant amount of gun buyers who are willing to pay more for a used piece because “Jim from the hardware store” used it to off himself.

      • Yep, ol’ Jim was a heck of a guy. Why I remember how he used to give skittles and cigars to the neighborhood yoots…… yep, ol’Jim was a giving kind of guy. Even after his wife left to persue her stripping career, and his kids joined that hippy commune, and his dog died, never heard him complain once….. (read in Walter Brennen’s voice)

    • More over-emoting, more projection.

      No offense meant, but seriously, you ought to be used to this by now. Many of us can see it coming a mile away. The exact trigger-event may change, but the underlying basis never does.

      They can’t trust themselves, so they think NO ONE can be trusted.
      Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

  22. Maybe.

    I could no longer be able to say “Ted Kennedy’s car has killed more people than my guns have”.

    • How and why would that change your outlook?

      It’s the same concept; the gun is but a tool, the evil resides in the user/abuser. Seriously, folks; treat it like any other power tool or powerful machine. Dangerous if not used properly, or deliberately misused, but otherwise, it’s a lump of metal, plastic, and (maybe if you’re lucky) wood.

      Vehicles are involved in thousands of deaths every year, but I don’t hear many folks claiming that the used Yugo or F-150 for sale down the street is the latest incarnation of Christine…

  23. Yes. And I’d exorcise any suicide demons. I have bought more than one used gun and have NO idea if it was used in a crime/suicide. Especially a pre 20th century H&R 32.

  24. My first reaction is of course, but then I think about my strong compulsion to hunt Nazis when I hold my Mosin…

  25. If I could afford it and it was a good value for the condition of the gun, I would not care it’s history. I would buy it. If you’re worried about bad spirits or whatever other, assuming for some reason they hung around it would be pretty easy to take it to a priest and get it cleansed. I’m not worried about it myself but if you were you could.

  26. I own several military surplus weapons, some of which may have been used in battle, possibly against Americans. The history of a gun may or may not be interesting/macabre/unfortunate, but it doesn’t give the gun any kind of jinx/mojo/karma of its own, nor does it become predisposed to any kind of use or misuse.

    If it was a good deal on a gun that I found interesting/useful, I’d buy it regardless of its history.

  27. How can you possibly know the history of a used firearm? In rare cases there may be a documented use, but this is uncommon.

    Ex military and police firearms would be most likely to have been involved in a shooting, but some civilian arms have been as well.

    Obviously this is not a major issue with most Americans, otherwise there would be no used or collector gun markets.

  28. My issue would be not with the fact that it killed someone (anyone who owns a Mosin-Nagant or two might own one of those, and mine are pre-WWII manufacture, so the chances are higher), but the fact that it was used at close range on what is almost certainly a very messy headshot, and has since been in someone’s evidence locker.

    The original owner was clearly not in his right mind, so no telling what the maintenance history is on the pistol, then it was exposed to blood and brain matter and other ickyness, and then it was investigated for forensic evidence, probably never cleaned, and stuck in a government evidence locker, where it has likely sat to its own devices for years with little care, maintenance, or upkeep.

    In short, until proven otherwise, I would assume that it is not in good shape, and would insist on a detailed inspection of the piece before making a bid that didn’t assume that it was in need of a good deal of maintenance and repair.

  29. Hah!
    If I wanted a weapon like the one being offered; in a heartbeat!
    And if it’s already had some homicidal experience, I might be tempted to carry it, too, just because.

  30. Sure – why not? I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a gun known to have been used in a suicide, murder, DGU, book burning, what have you. But I wouldn’t NOT buy one if I learned it had been used in a suicide. Heck, the anti-gunners constantly tell us that ALL guns are meant for nothing but killing – so by extension, unless NIB, most guns probably have killed several people by now.

    I have a Winchester Model 70 sitting in my safe now that was used by the son of an acquaintance to kill himself. It was a very sad story – son of an Eastern Oregon rancher on whose property we used to hunt. The guy’s friends (including my Dad, an FFL at the time) all chipped in to buy him a new hunting rifle. Dad ended up with the Winchester and completely refurbished it, reblued, and built a beautiful custom stock for it. It’s a great gun. If I sold it, would I have to do full disclosure like for real estate? So far, I’ve witnessed no paranormal activity in my gun locker, except for when one of my Enfields appeared to attack one of the Mausers……

    • “So far, I’ve witnessed no paranormal activity in my gun locker, except for when one of my Enfields appeared to attack one of the Mausers……”

      Sibling rivalry (brother from another mother). Happens all the time. Builds character.

  31. I misunderstood the meaning of the title and thought you were referring to buying a gun specifically for the instance in which one would decide to take their own life. If that were the case I’d probably get one of those BFR 45-70 revolvers and get it engraved. If I’m gonna take myself out it’s going to be with the prettiest gun I can possibly afford!

  32. Yup. I would.

    I’d have absolutely no problem buying a duplex at 6114 California St. in San Francisco, California or a house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY, either.

    Look at it this way, if I came to you and told you your prized 1911 had been used in a suicide, would you immediately want to sell it? Would this new information change how you interact with an inanimate object?

  33. My gut reaction is to join in the “sure, why not? A deal’s a deal.”

    But I would temper that by saying… probably not if it were someone I knew.

  34. Sure. I’d buy a suicide gun, I’d buy a murderhouse, whatever. A deal is a deal and it’s just inert matter. Stuff only has the meaning you give it.

  35. Sure…as long as it’s not one of those “evil” guns that shot the previous owner on its own volition. You know, the ones that don’t like to be cleaned.

    • Just noticed there are a few cars and trucks in here too.
      Wonder if these are two for 1 specials?

      Seriously, I think you have to wonder about the vehicles.
      IF those were involved in the suicides, those would be a lot harder to clean.

      I can’t see myself “pulling the trigger” on those. (pun intended)

    • Lots of lever guns and single shot pheasant guns caught my eye. The two that were most attractive were the double barrel 12 and the Super Redhawk 44 revolver. I like monster revolvers for some reason.

      But I don’t have gun money in the envelope right now. Rats. I think I saw a lever action 20… not sure. That looked really cool. Besides, with national attention this auction might end up without any good deals.

  36. I dont believe in superstition. So as long as it’s a damn good deal, said gun could have killed the President for all I care.

  37. We [the gun community] buy old military guns all the time, and not just the guns used by our side. Surely many of those guns have seen service, and some may have killed Americans, no? Why would a suicide gun be any different?

  38. A friend of mine didn’t want one back afterwards so he told the coroner to release it to me. Over the decades many a varmint has met it’s end to this rifle, but I didn’t pay anything for it.

  39. Why not? The gun didn’t decide to commit suicide. Lots of people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. That hasn’t stopped millions of sensitive Californians and residents of Frisco from driving across the bridge every day.

  40. Yeah, I’d buy one. I own guns that have killed people… not normally their owners, but people just the same.

  41. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a suicide or homicide gun, because I’m not ghoulish, but neither would I irrationally avoid one either. It’s a non-issue for me.

    Just think of all the places you’ve been where such a death has taken place. From historical battlegrounds, to your corner convenience store, perhaps your own home, and the highways in between. You’re enveloped daily by the echoes and horrors of past happenings, and yet you make it through the day just fine.

    Whether intact or melted down, the firearms and all of their molecules simply exist, with no memories, remorse or persuasive powers of their own. To own one, or shun one, and therein find some metaphor for life, is our own fault.

    • “Just think of all the places you’ve been where such a death has taken place.”

      NOPE! Not doing it, haha. That said I agree with you and would totally buy a suicide gun. No problem, haha.

      • I’m actually with you on that now. I’ve thought about it more since posting, until I creeped myself out.

        I’m still OK with the gun itself, but the actual location of the incident…..that’s where my irrationality apparently kicks in. So I don’t think I would knowingly buy a house, for example, where a suicide had taken place.

        I won’t even pretend there’s any logic supporting it. Although, in fairness, at least that’s just my own hang-up, and I’m not foisting my irrationality on others, like the antis do.

  42. Yes, I would buy a suicide gun, but I also collect C&R guns and I’m pretty sure at least one of my Mosins or K98ks has several kills to its name.

  43. One of my child hood guns was Dad’s .22lr Savage semi auto rifle which my Uncle used to try and kill himself. So I have used an attempted suicide gun.

  44. Yep. I bought a mint Colt MKIII Trooper, 1978 mfr, from an older nurse I worked with. Her ex-husband used it to redecorate the basement, and it had been in a paper bag since the early 80s. I didn’t have much money at the time, and she just wanted it gone. All the cash I had at the time was $250, and she wouldn’t hear it when I tried to make payments to give her a fair price. Fantastic shooting gun…

  45. Would not bother me a bit if there is zero infamy attached unlike Lizzy Borden’s axe which would mean the realized value is more than the actual value of the weapon. It would be simply a tool. I have purchased a couple of pistols from widow’s who simply wanted the weapon “to go to someone deserving” both knew I shoot and wanted the pistols to be used and cherished by someone. None of my firearms have exhibited suicidal tendencies when I open the safe…

  46. i’ve got an old Ruby kicking around that was a) carried by two different relatives in two different wars and b) used by a third party (though not a relative) to commit suicide. still not sure i can deduce anything creepy about the gun itself.

  47. Unless it was a famous piece I don’t really want one in my collection. Yes, a gun is a tool just like a hammer. But I wouldn’t want a hammer that the previous owner smashed his, or someone else’s head with either.

  48. How many times have we said that a gun is a tool? We have all said that it is nothing but a hunk of steel and nothing more. By attaching any sort of meaning to a gun for any reason, being a “scary black rifle” or a suicide we are anthropomorphizing firearms.

  49. I drink a gallon of water a day. Most of the water on earth has been here as long as people have been here, and in that time, 108 billion people have come, and all but 7.2 billion of them have gone. Of the more than 100 billion people who have lived on this planet, many of them died by drowning. I wonder how many people drowned in the water I drank today?

  50. I would not buy a gun that was used in a suicide, nor would I buy a used car that someone killed themselves in either.

    I would consider making an exception for the gun but the circumstances would have to be compelling.

    For some odd reason, I would consider making an exception for a house, even if it had a murder, it’s hard to explain, but for some reason it wouldn’t bother me, especiallly if you were getting a $400,000 dollar home for $220,000.

  51. Someone has one. A friend’s husband bought a gun to end his life. A few weeks later she gets the aftershock of the credit card bill for the gun in the mail. I was going to buy it from her as a cleansing act but before I could she went to the chain store and asked the the gentleman behind the counter if she could return it, explaining the circumstances. He graciously said yes, that he would clean it up and return it to inventory. That act was a huge step in her recovery. I wrote both the chain headquarters, thanking them for their employee’s compassion and the NRA, telling the story. The topic must be too hot to touch as neither acknowledged the story of a tool misused and its redemption.

  52. What if it was a really nice new Gen4 G19 but it was a child family member? Makes it tougher. When I finally decided that I was ok with it because I could turn it into something positive I learned that the PD destroyed it anyway.
    Piece of metal and plastic. No intent. Then I realized that my preowned EDC pistol has a history that I know absolutely nothing about…I’m fine with that, right? Yes.

  53. gal at work had no trouble selling all of her husband’s guns, although only one was “the tool”. the gun toad used is still in the neighborhood. the gun donger used is still in the neighborhood. the gun recovered at the boat ramp near the shrine on the pickup bed is still used by the tormented’s brother. none of those were “purchased” again though.
    i would purchase any of them. as long as they’re remembered, they’re still here.

  54. I own a number of surplus rifles. Who knows, perhaps my K98 took the life of the soldier that was carrying my Garand or one of my Mosins. Its sad to think about, but not really all too different from suicide guns. I personally would not own a firearm that was used in a suicide by someone that I was close to, but I would have no issues owning a firearm that was used in such a way by someone I don’t know.

  55. Would I buy a suicide gun? Not only would I but I did 21 years ago. I bought a Walther P1 that someone committed suicide with. It was a good deal at $150.00. His loss was my gain; wow that did not sound right. Here is the kicker, the slide has the deceased owner’s Florida D/L number lightly engraved on it. The only part that sucked was I had to clean off dried blood from the muzzle, which lightly rusted it.

  56. Depends who used it.
    When I read the title I thought it was referring to a gun to commit suicide with if the need arises. Being in the medical field and having seen a lot of terminally ill people sufferingI would use my Webley

  57. Holding how a gun was used against the gun itself is like someone holding the fact of a gun being used in a robbery or killing against guns in general.

    Guns aren’t porous, and the crazy doesn’t seep in and take root.

  58. It might be a bit off-putting to buy a gun which had been used in a crime. But hey, at least you know it works, right?

    Honestly, I think I’d rather see every one of them destroyed. But I’m torn, because they’re still useful guns — especially the expensive ones.

  59. I would why would you not ? The gun did not do anything It was not built to do. It fired a round when someone pulled the trigger. Is that not what it should do when loaded and triger is pulled?

  60. Already have a Browning rifle dated 1928. Didn’t ask the gun shop where it came from. Just knew it would and does shoot, and the price was right.

    Most of our used guns are newer, and I’ve been told where they came from. Somehow, I doubt the gun shop would tell me if it was used in a suicide.

  61. Absolutely! When we tell antigunners that the gun is not to blame the man or woman pulling the trigger is…the gun is an inanimate object until animated by a human…how many war trophies and C&R guns have been used to kill enemies or end the life of a soldier no longer willing to go on? Does it matter? Not to me the gun is a tool and it can be used for defensive situations as well as suicide or homocide… the gun did not choose the path of its use a human did…

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