Law Enforcement Sell or Destroy Valuable Property for Political Reasons

Screenshot from Fox 23 report on April 16, 2019

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- In April, two Oklahoma law enforcement departments auctioned off guns they had accumulated. The guns had not been used in crimes, but were seized for a variety of reasons. They were turned into the police by people who did not want them. They were seized from prohibited possessors. They were forfeited as part of plea deals.

Oklahoma County auctioned off about 500 firearms they had collected. The guns were sold to dealers with federal firearms licenses (FFL).

Tulsa County auctioned off over 700 firearms. They collected $129,000 from the auction. If the price per firearm in Tulsa averaged the same as in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma County would have received about $92,000. It is a nice chunk of change. Costs to run the auctions for a few FFL dealers are minimal.  From fox23.com:

The sale brought in over $129,000 to offset the department's budget.

There is no practical advantage of destroying guns rather than selling them. If a dealer does not buy a gun at the auction, he simply buys one from a manufacturer.  When the police sell a gun, the money goes to the department instead of a gun manufacturer.  Even broken guns are valuable. Parts outlets will buy broken guns to use for spare parts.

Both Oklahoma County and Tulsa County auctions were conducted by Sheriff departments.

In Oklahoma City and the City of Tulsa, the police departments do not sell the guns they collect. They spend additional money and destroy them.

The number of guns seized in Oklahoma City has been trending up. KGOU says the number seized in 2018 was over 2,000.

The number seized in the City of Tulsa was over 1,500. Both departments go to the extra expense of destroying the firearms rather than selling them to federal dealers. From kgou.org:

Both departments destroy seized guns rather than reuse or sell them at an auction.

“Our goal is not to put guns back out on the street,” Adair said. “Whatever we might get from the sale just isn’t worth it.”

The purpose of destroying guns seems purely ideological. It does not “remove guns from the streets”.  Manufacturers are producing millions of guns each year to take up any demand that results from destroyed guns. The guns destroyed would have gone to a dealer, to be sold through exactly the same channels in the same manner as new guns with the same safeguards as new guns.

Using the ratios from the Tulsa County sales, Oklahoma City will be throwing away about $368,000. The City of Tulsa will be throwing away about $276,000 dollars, all to make an obscure ideological point that “guns are bad”.

Part of the difference may be Sheriff's are directly elected. The head of the police department in Oklahoma City is selected by the City Manager, who is hired by the City Council. It is a political position but twice removed from accountability to the people.

The City of Tulsa Police Chief is appointed by the Mayor of Tulsa. The police department is thus a power center for the Mayor, and the police chief is directly responsible to the Mayor of Tulsa, instead of directly to the electorate, as Sheriffs are.

Historically, urban police departments have access to more tax money and are less concerned with husbanding resources than are rural sheriff departments.

Ideologically, those who want a disarmed population often start their arguments with: “If there weren't any guns”. They have an emotional attachment to the fantastical notion of a world without guns. This fantasy is fed by sacrificing hundreds of thousands of dollars for their emotional gratification. Mostly, it is someone else's money.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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jack macHeed the Call-upnevilleWillKlim Recent comment authors
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neville
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neville

Sell, destroy and steal.These scum cops steal property and it goes into their personnel collections.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

Gee, neville, can you name even one copt that you witnessed do that?

Klim
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Klim

Think maybe he “accidentally” dropped the soap. Might be a while.

neville
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neville

I could name more than one and they do it with a big grin on their faces when they do it. Total corruption.

jack mac
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jack mac

It happens.

StWayne
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StWayne

Oklahoma is known for some of its more lenient interpretations of the law, as is West Virginia, allowing their police departments the room necessary to interpret them as they see fit. Example: when pulled over for a traffic violation, they have the right to, and often do, confiscate all cash on hand. It’s called “Civil Forfeiture,” allowing them to take a person’s property if an officer even “suspects” that it is connected to a crime. Proving that it’s not is, of course, practically impossible as almost all paper currency in circulation has drug residue of some kind on it. Flinch,… Read more »

Rock R
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Rock R

STWayne, I totally disagree with your statement above. I have lived in Oklahoma since the late 80’s, just a few years after I got out of the military, in those years I have driven all around the State with cash money, before I owned a credit card, buying all kinds of things that are LEGAL… Gotten one ticket in all those years on the way to work one morning for speeding, which I was… I have never heard any business man or anyone else I have meet or known over the years say they where pulled over and there cash… Read more »

Will
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Will

@RockR,a few years back I was running really too fast about 10 miles outside Lawton,OK.,trying to make up some time. I blew past a OHP car, got off the gas until he matched my speed and lit me up. I thought damn it’s too early in the morning for this shit. I pulled over and he checked my DL,LTC,and insurance. He asked what I carry and I said I had my G19 with me. We talked about 9mm vs..45ACP,and just shot the breeze for a few minutes. He said he had to get back on patrol,and for me to slow… Read more »

Will
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Will

@RockR,one last thing. I really respect you for taking up for Oklahoma the way you do,esp.when you think it’s being wronged by comments here. I do the same for Texas.

RoyD
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RoyD

If you don’t mind please regale us with your personal encounters with Ok law enforcement where: “Flinch, or even look at them wrong from the safety of your cushy seat, and you quickly get a close up view of the asphalt as they tear through your stuff looking for “booty.”” If, perchance, you can not do this please refrain from repeating fanciful stories made up by those not inclined to live by the civil code that most of the rest of us choose to abide by. And I remember years ago, during a traffic stop by the police of some… Read more »

Heed the Call-up
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Heed the Call-up

Stealing, aka “seizing” citizens money when there is no proof of a crime is not “winning”. There are numerous stories of innocent people having their property seized by the police and have to spend years and huge sums of money to try to get their property back. If that happened to you, maybe you would then understand the reason for the 4th amendment.

Rich
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Rich

On the bright side, Tucson was pulling this crap a few years ago and the AZ Supreme Court said knock it off. Pre-emption laws are wonderful.

Considerthis
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Considerthis

First off, understand I am generally opposed to environmentalism . Since liberal democrats constantly ram it down our throats and at the same time cause all this firearm destruction, their own arguments should be turned against them. We need to maintain ” Renewable” sources of firearms. This constant creation/destruction cycle is unsustainable and a very wasteful use of energy. Every time you destroy a firearm, baby seals die.

RoyD
Member
RoyD

I don’t know about that, Will. I do know that items that were auctioned off by the part of the Federal Govt I worked for were off limits to those of us working for that department. It wasn’t always like that. There was the person who was married to the person in charge of seeing who had the highest bid who just happened to turn in a bid a few dollars more than the next highest bid for a fifty five gallon drum of 308 brass. He took what he wanted and sold the rest to a brass dealer up… Read more »

Rock
Member
Rock

Resembles the CMP, they take the collectable, very good condition, high value weapons for themselves and “friends” and sell the “fireable” ones for BIG dollars to the public. Win-Win for them…. Just another gimmick, just a different situation.
Colt 1911’s, M1 Garands…. Whatever they can get.

Rock R
Member
Rock R

” I do know that items that were auctioned off by the part of the Federal Govt I worked for were off limits to those of us working for that department.” That is the rule in a lot of GOV agencies to prevent exactly what you talk about from happening. If you have proof of what happened it is your responsibility to report the crime…. That incident is most likely the reason things did change… As an employee with the department you would have inside information on the items up for sale… I believe that that is a State law… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

That many firearms being used in crimes,then most were probably stolen from law abiding citizens who had acquired them legally through FFL’s. Of that many firearms did they make any attempt to contact/ locate the owners through serial #’s and/or crime reports ? I would bet the farm that the best of these firearms are in these Sheriff deputies gun safes.

Rock R
Member
Rock R

I don’t know where you,live, but in Oklahoma we have laws and accountability about things like that, does it happen,, maybe, but I can’t prove it and I seriously doubt it happens at my County Sheriff department…. They have to keep records and logs of stolen property and how it is disposed of. Not every one is a thief and I don’t believe that very many LEO’s of any kind are going to risk their job, jail time and retirement for a stolen gun… There are some, and some get caught… First of all, most people are paid by insurance… Read more »

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Rock, What Will meant to say was … except for law abiding states like OK. Then again, NY, CA, NJ, MASS, and MD are not a patch on the pants of Oklahoma! Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Oklahoma a native American word for God’s Country!

Rock R
Member
Rock R

Yes I believe it is…. I also believe that “all it takes for evil to persist is for good men to do nothing….” I believe it is so much easier for people to criticize than to get off the couch and do anything to correct the matter…. I would also like either them or the thumbs up bodies to ask Sheriff Chris Brown how much he has stolen as a LEO…. I don’t believe there is no evil in Law Enforcement, that would be stupid, just believe that it is up to “WE THE PEOPLE” to correct what we can…… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

quote: “I also believe that “all it takes for evil to persist is for good men to do nothing….”” the original quote says for evil to trumph”, but you did preserve the intended meaning. But this is false. A GOOD man, when aware of evil, will NEVER “do nothing”. No, he will rise up and stand against it, expose it, resist it. Else he is complicit with the evil. The reason we have so much evil about these days is precisely BECAUSE too many who consider themselves “good men” stand mutely by and DO NOTHING to stop, expose, reverse, the… Read more »

Tionico
Member
Tionico

You must hve read a different article, Will. It stated that most of the guns had NOT been “used in crimes”, and even if they had been, they cannot be auctioined off until AFTER the courts and LE are “done” with them, as evidence. Secondly, all guns taken into custody by LE ARE searched…. traced.. identified. Their SN’s are compated to lists of stolen property, just like when a pawn shop takes in a firearm. They MUST provide SN to local LE for tracing. Any whose owners are identified MUST be returned to their rightful owners if locatable. Many guns… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

@Tio,I just re-read my post. Should had said,..”that many firearms being used in “non-crimes”…But I do want to point out that guns seized from “prohibited possessors” is definitely a crime !

Will
Member
Will

@USA,it must had been wonderful living when Jefferson did. No illegal aliens,MS13 punks,etc.who just happen to be “free” until the cops slap the cuffs on them.