Kentucky State Police Gun Auctions Video

U.S.A.-(– As part of the wave of gun legislation reforms sweeping the country since the 1980s, the Kentucky legislature required forfeited guns to be sold at auction to Federal Firearms License holders. The legislation was created in Kentucky in 1998. Guns that were stolen, and can be identified, are returned to their legal owners.

This was to prevent the destruction of valuable assets for no purpose. In addition, the sale of the assets would accrue to the benefit of the police, which gained support for the legislation.

The Kentucky State Police have been tasked by the Kentucky General Assembly to administer the sale of forfeited guns.  In 2020, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) started auctioning off collected guns as one large lot to one dealer. This is the easiest way to auction off the guns.

It limits the number of potential buyers to those with a Federal Firearms License and access to over a hundred thousand dollars, available as cash, for the guns.  Here are terms as listed at the Kentucky State Police site:

KSP Firearms FFL Bidders: The Kentucky State Police will be conducting a closed, one bid auction online. The upcoming auction will contain approximately 600+/-guns as one lot. The firearms list will be posted on
the KSP public web site as well as a short video showing each firearm. Bids submitted will be for all guns listed/shown. A reasonable start bid will be established based on previous auctions and trends in the
market. Bids must be made in $5.00 increments.

All bids should be emailed to [email protected] . One bid per FFL holder will be accepted. The bids will be reviewed,and the winner notified by email. A bid submission is a binding contract between KSP and the winning bidder. This is strictly enforced. Any deviation from this could result in legal action. The winning bid amount will be posted on the KSP web site.

The proceeds from the gun sales go to procure body armor and other equipment for Kentucky law enforcement personnel.

Kentucky State Police retain 20% of what the auction brings in. The remainder goes to Kentucky Homeland Security under provisions of KRS 16.220.

After these firearms are sold to Federal Firearms License holders, they are sold to the public under the same restrictions as newly manufactured firearms.

Basic economics apply: At any given time, the demand for a product can be satisfied by a new product, product obtained on the used market, or a combination of both new and used products. It is also possible for consumers to be manufacturers and make their own products.

The more used firearms are sold, the more demand for new firearms is reduced. The practical effect of selling these firearms is to reduce the profit of firearms manufacturers while satisfying the demand created by those seeking legal firearms.

This correspondent sent an open records request for information about firearms auctions administered by the Kentucky State Police during the last decade. The auctions have been a tremendous success. They are held about six times a year.

The Kentucky State Police were responsive and cooperative. Here is what the numbers show. The most recent auction took place on July 5th, 2022, and is included in the calculations. In July, 1008 firearms were sold as a lot to the winner of the online auction, for $158,796.

Forty-eight thousand, seven hundred and fourteen guns have been sold in the last 10.5 years, or about 4600 per year.

The average price paid per auctioned firearm over the whole period was $182.80.

About  8.9 million dollars was generated to be used for body armor and other accessories for police officers over the last 10.5 years.

The average is about $848,000 per year for Kentucky police.   20% of the proceeds goes to the Kentucky State Police, or about $168,000 dollars per year, over the last 10.5 years.

Eighty percent goes to equip other police officers in Kentucky, or about $677K per year, over the last decade.

There are about 8 thousand sworn police officers in Kentucky.  The amount available from the firearm sales, which might otherwise have been destroyed, is about $85 per year per officer. Police vests expire after three to five years, so it is enough to equip most officers with bullet-resistant vests.

Of the 1008 firearms sold in the last auction, a quick count revealed 55 shotguns and 79 rifles, with the rest being handguns.  About 87 percent of the forfeited guns were handguns.

This is reasonably close to the percentages of firearms confiscated or forfeited in Chicago. In the Chicago report on tracing guns, from 2013 thru 2016, 90.2 percent of the firearms traced in Chicago were handguns.  This ratio may be consistent nationwide.

Of murders committed with guns, about 92% are committed with handguns. This likely reflects a preference for concealable weapons by people who engage in extralegal violence.

Handguns have become the majority of firearms sold in the United States. In June of 2022, 1.76 handguns were sold for every long gun sold.

Sixteen thousand six firearms were confiscated/forfeited in Kentucky over the same four years covered in the Chicago report, which had 26,849 guns confiscated/forfeited.

Over the four years, Chicago collected, from confiscation or forfeiture, about 1 gun per 100 residents.  Kentucky collected about 1 gun per 276 residents.

The sale of confiscated/forfeited firearms by the Kentucky State Police has been an unqualified success. Assets that would otherwise have been wasted are used to purchase police equipment.

The demand for new firearms is reduced, allowing manufacturing capacity to be used for other purposes.

Legal purchasers of firearms have a greater selection from which to choose.

It is a win-win situation for all involved.

About 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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“The more used firearms are sold, the more demand for new firearms is reduced. The practical effect of selling these firearms is to reduce the profit of firearms manufacturers while satisfying the demand created by those seeking legal firearms.” Sounds kinda anti-gun to me.
Coming from a former cop, I understand. You know what they say about Indians? Same applies here.


this is about the best outcome for any state most destroy them all unless some leo removes it from storage


I don’t see it as win win. How many guns were used in self defense scenarios by maybe not so LEGAL citizens that should have the right ? I see this as a money maker for police. I doubt the guns are going to be sold to the public for bargains. Just my two cents. I wonder how many people, never realized they could have gotten their gun back ? Or were told no they couldn’t ?

Last edited 4 days ago by Arny

Guns that were stolen, and can be identified, are returned to their legal owners.


You mentioned twice that this program helped reduce the sales of new guns as if that were a good thing and a righteous objective. You had hard data for everything but that, so I’m wondering why you chose to emphasize that assumption, and treat it as a positive accomplishment. You also said that it frees up manufacturing capacity for other goods. How does it do that? If a firearm manufacturer cannot use their firearm manufacturing equipment for forearms, are you making the false assumption that they can start making something for a completely different market with no additional investment? You… Read more »


Spare parts and after-market parts, maybe? They do make them…

Xaun Loc

Reducing the demand for new guns isn’t a good thing — in and of itself, as even the article mentions that it cuts profits for gun manufacturers — but in the current situation where new production has been unable to meet demand, making another source of guns available certainly is. Considering that the two alternatives would be for seized guns to be destroyed (the most common choice in anti-gun states) or simply sit in bins gathering rust (the choice of anti-gun police departments in pro-gun states); selling off seized guns is clearly the best of the available alternatives. Individual sales… Read more »


Boy, there was some nice firearms in there, l believe l saw a real H&K91

Xaun Loc

And quite a bit of garbage too. The FFLs bidding on these lots know that they are going to have to spend time wading through the lot, inspecting each gun before they price it for sale, and that they will have quite a few guns that need repair, some that are ‘gunsmith specials’ and some that simply aren’t fit for sale at all.


My comment got sent for bv review. I wonder when they will review it.


It’s critical these weapons ARE returned to the owners. Because…we’ll be checking!!!


Guns that were stolen, and can be identified, are returned to their legal owners.

Xaun Loc

Yeah, right, sure you will… Guns that can be “identified” are returned to the “rightful owner” — but the reality isn’t nearly that clear. Almost every one of those guns ought to be able to be identified if they ran an actual trace rather than simply checking the database to see if the gun was reported stolen. Instead of doing that, police everywhere presume that if the gun had a “rightful owner” it would have been reported when it was lost or stolen. Any gun that isn’t in the database as lost or stolen is treated as not being able… Read more »


Nice Nice and again Nice to read.


I wish all LE agencies were required to sell rather than destroy confiscated firearms. One of my great shames working for my last department, was that all confiscated firearms which could not be returned to a lawful owner (usually stolen guns entered into NCIC), were destroyed. That city for decades had a bunch of gun-hating liberals as mayors, council members, and police chiefs. I heard of a very ornate Luger, engraved with ivory grips that was destroyed. A guy on the shift opposite mine showed me an old 1950’s S&W “lemon squeezer” he took off of some drug thugs he… Read more »