Back in 2012, the Georgia legislature passed a bill banning law enforcement agencies from crushing guns that were seized from robbery suspects. Instead, agencies were to sell unclaimed firearms to legal, law-abiding citizens.
Some agencies, like Bibb County, GA Sheriff’s Department, are just now cashing in on the law. Part of the reason it took so long was that Bibb County Sheriff David Davis had concerns about more guns on the street. But admitted his department was running out of room to store confiscated and unclaimed firearms.
“I can understand reticence about selling weapons — that they may wind up on the street, they may wind up doing harm to someone,” said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis . “But we have to do what the law says, and we do get a positive out of it in that there some funds that will come to the agency and lessen the burden on the taxpayers.”
When the bill was being discussed back in 2011-2012, the NRA backed the idea.
“It just makes no sense to destroy perfectly good firearms that can be used to raise money for these cash-strapped police departments,” said Catherine Mortensen, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.
Although there are numerous states with similar laws on the books, not all Sheriffs are happy about the re-selling of firearms.
“I don’t believe that the small amount of money raised is worth the risk to the brave men and women who put themselves between those firearms and our community on a daily basis,” said Chattanooga’s Police Chief Fred Fletcher.
But when Bibb County Sheriff’s Department concluded their gun auction, they had raised $18,000, which will be used for to buy new equipment, officer training and outreach efforts.
And that’s just a win/win.