As a fan of firearms it’s awful to see localities destroy hundreds of perfectly good firearms, these areas collect firearms from “buy-back” events and seize firearms from criminals routinely and they simply choice to destroy them. Not all is despair though as some localities have instead opted for selling these firearms back to people.
West Virginia is raising funds for law enforcement by selling seized firearms back to the public at government run auctions. This works similarly to the way cities sell seized homes and cars back to the public. West Virginia’s treasurer ran an auction this past week with more than 600 guns up for sale, the funds generated by the sales is going to fund local law enforcement agencies.
The auction was held Thursday at the Treasure’s Office warehouse in Charleston. More than 600 firearm lots were available for bid and over $139,000 was raised. Last year, the auction was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which created a backlog of weapons.
Moore said they worked with police departments across the state to collect weapons that were old, seized or not being used for an extended period of time.
“This comes from evidence rooms or firearms that the police departments and communities around our state no longer use, so then we auction them off and those proceeds go directly back to those police departments,” Moore said.
Part of the state’s Unclaimed Property law allows West Virginia law enforcement agencies to turn over any old or unused firearms to the Treasurer’s Office so it can be auctioned off annually to federally licensed firearms dealers. The funds can then be returned to the agency that turns over the firearms for their use.