I was recently reading an article about a police department destroying “seized” guns. Some were evidence in crimes, but many were turned in by people who didn’t want them or had been seized for other reasons. Most were junk, but from the pictures I saw, some were collectible pieces worth substantial money. It didn’t matter though, piece of junk or WW II historic firearm all were to be melted down.
It struck me that when the police seize other property, such as houses, boats, planes, and automobiles, those items are sold, donated, or repurposed for government use. Cars especially end up being used by the police for a variety of purposes, while other items end up being sold and the revenue generated going back to the police or general goverment fund.
Cars, trucks, boats, and planes, are often used to smuggle drugs or other contraband and while the items being smuggled are usually destroyed, the vehicles themselves aren’t.
So, why does it make sense to sell a house bought by a drug dealer with money made from selling drugs, but it doesn’t make sense to sell a hand gun that he also bought with drug money?
I’ll even concede that a firearm used in a murder shouldn’t be sold, but what about a handgun owned by someone convicted of tax evasion? If the government is going to seize property, shouldn’t it be used to pay the fines and taxes owed? Of course whether the government should be able to seize private property and if so under what circumstances, is a totally diffrent subject which I won’t delve into today.
Many police departments will sell or auction bicycles that they recover but for which they can’t find the rightful owner.
There are web sites which specialize in selling off seized property for police departments. The police get money, the auction site gets a commission and buyers get, well, they get something.
Maybe it’s a blue state thing, because it seems that in some states the police do auction off seized firearms. Additionally, many police agencies either allow officers to buy weapons that the agency no longer uses or trades them in to dealers when they are buying new firearms.
I guess I just don’t get the distinction between a “good” firearm that can be sold and a “bad” one that can’t.