California County wants to grind sheriff's old handguns into scrap metal instead of sell them

Instead of selling the Sheriff’s old handguns back to the manufacturer where they would be processed and put back on the market through federally-licensed dealers, San Mateo County supervisors would rather melt them down for scrap:


The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday shot down Sheriff Greg Munks’ request to sell hundreds of his department’s surplus guns to a firearms manufacturer.

“It’s completely inappropriate for us to sell weapons to a firearms manufacturer who then will be able to sell those weapons at somewhat of a discounted price and put those guns into circulation,” board Vice President Dave Pine said. “I’m vehemently opposed to that.”

Munks didn’t attend the meeting, but in a memo to the board asked to sell more than 700 guns. About 400 are “old-duty” firearms no longer needed and 355 are pistols currently used by the department’s sworn personnel that are to be replaced with new Smith & Wesson guns, he said.

Munks proposed to sell the used firearms first to officers within his department who want them, and whatever is left to Smith & Wesson.

The supervisors unanimously rejected the idea of selling any firearms to the manufacturer, but agreed to let sheriff’s officers buy their own weapons.

As reported Monday by The Daily News, the county earlier this year collected almost 700 privately held guns through a buyback program and had them melted down into pipe metal.

“To me, that sort of set the tone for the county,” Tissier said. “If we turn around and sell them and they’ll be sold again, likely to anyone and everyone, it sort of defeats the purpose of what we were trying to accomplish.”


The 755 firearms in question have fiscal value. If sold back to the manufacturer at just a hypothetical $100 each, that adds $75,500 back to the department’s budget. By scrapping them, which seems to be the County’s intention, tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are thrown away.

Were I Sheriff Munks, I’d be tempted to scrap any old police vehicles as well instead of selling them at auction or selling them to a wholesaler, and when the County screams about the money wasted then, note that he was merely following their lead for the disposal of department property.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors are engaging political posturing that has become fiscal malpractice, and county residents should be furious.

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