Kansas Law Making Cities Sell Confiscated Guns Under Fire

(AP Photo/Colleen Long)

Local police departments confiscate a lot of guns. Most of them are stolen, but a lot of gun owners don’t keep up with their serial numbers and, as such, the police don’t realize they’ve recovered a stolen firearm. In many places, those guns that can be resold–those that still have serial numbers, for example–get sold to local stores for resale.

The money helps supplement police budgets.

It also helps keep prices down for firearms, allowing some to buy a quality firearm at a much lower price than they could have ordinarily have found it for.

It’s a win/win, right?

Not everyone agrees.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter disagrees.

“To sit there and say, well, if it’s a gun, used in a homicide, that’s the one that can’t be sold. What about the gun that paralyzed somebody? What about the gun that made a vegetable of somebody? What about the gun used against Julie Dombo in Derby, Kansas, where she lost two arms? That gun can be returned to somebody or can be sold, that can be used in a crime again? That makes no sense to me whatsoever,” said Easter.

Easter said he’s seen it happen time and time again in his career where guns used in crimes are sold back to the public and end up back in the hands of criminals. One of the biggest reasons for this, he said, is the price point.

“If you go and buy a weapon at Academy Sports, you’re going to spend, minimum, 350 bucks, right? These guns, you can probably buy for 50 bucks. So that’s an issue. They’re a lot cheaper. And secondly, I can’t get over the fact that it was used in a crime, and we’re possibly going to reintroduce it again,” said Easter.

What Easter wants is an exception that allows the police to destroy a gun used in any crime.

Which, of course, would mean that pretty much every confiscated gun would be destroyed. After all, you don’t take guns from people who can lawfully have and carry them, right? Especially since permitless carry is the law.

So, arguably, almost any firearm confiscated by police would be used in a crime. Possession by a felon is a crime, so any gun they had in their possession, regardless of where it came from originally, could be argued that it was used in a crime.

Honestly, either Easter isn’t looking at the slippery slope here or he doesn’t care. Either way, the sheriff’s opinion should be discounted.

Yes, those guns are cheap. As such, criminals do occasionally get their hands on guns that were used in crimes before. However, some of those guns get purchased by poor but law-abiding people who couldn’t afford one in the first place. They can then defend themselves, something they probably need more than most folks.

But Easter and those who agree with him don’t really care about that. For them, it’s all about how they feel really bad that someone bad might get a gun previously owned by someone bad.

I hate to break it to them, though. Those bad people? They’re going to get guns anyway, so you might as well help the little guy get one so he can protect himself from the predators that surround us.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET