Police following sheriff’s lead with firearm auction

Filed under: Opinion | Tags:,

Make me a reservation at the auction — the gun auction that is.

The Colorado Springs Police Department is considering selling confiscated firearms to licensed gun dealers. Not the weapons that were used to commit a crime, those are kept as evidence for years or even decades, but the guns that are confiscated in a meth lab raid or other crimes where the gun wasn’t actually used.

The gun sale program makes sense to me. The good guys get armed with the bad guys’ former guns. The law abiding residents of the city are then better protected if any thugs come calling.

While at first blush, the sale of guns by law enforcement seems paradoxical, there might be money to be made for the cash-strapped city. City Council voted in February to have the cops put a plan together to sell the guns. The plan will be reviewed this month.

The program could bring in $10,000 in badly needed revenue to the city. The El Paso County sheriff’s department has been auctioning guns for a few years. In 2006, they sold 132 long guns and made about $9,800. In 2008, the sheriff’s department sold 315 handguns and brought in just under $18,000, according to Lt. Lari L. Sevene, public information officer.

Don Dobyns, a retired police officer and firearms instructor said, “the city could make more than that. It really depends on how many guns the city has and what quality they are.”

I have been considering getting a concealed carry permit for a while, and I enjoy the occasional recreational target shooting.

I am thinking of a nice, slim 45-caliber 1911 single stack with a holster and two magazines holding seven rounds each — a weapon that would fit well under my suit without showing any bulges. I already have plenty of those.

The Colorado Springs Police Department selling guns could be controversial. While I am sure there are people out there who think even one gun is too many, the guns would be sold to only people with a Federal Firearm License. Background checks are conducted.

The bad guys get guns from other bad guys, not the police department. I am not worried that guns sold by the CSPD would get in the wrong hands.

With the draconian revenue shortfall the city is facing and quite possibly major reductions in the police department, there should be many people considering taking advantage of the Second Amendment and arming themselves.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Spring Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.

4 Responses to Police following sheriff’s lead with firearm auction

  1. Great article and right on the money!

    Carl Smith
    August 28, 2009 at 8:34 am

  2. Mr. Matejczyk, you misuse the word “draconian” in your article, “With the draconian revenue shortfall the city is facing…” It does not make sense in the context you use it. Otherwise enjoyed the read. Good idea for the police department. Take the criminals guns and give them to honest citizens to stop the criminals.

    Andy Dufrane
    August 31, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  3. Are the only people eligible to bid in the auction(s) gun dealers who hold a Class 01 FFL, or can people with Class 03 Curio & Relic licenses come and bid on the vintage guns only? The way these things usually work, they are dealers-only. But if the Class 03 C&R holders are allowed to come too, the city might make more money from the auctions. We C&R holders have to go through background checks too; we’re honest people. It would be nice if we were allowed to come and bid on firearms we’re allowed to purchase under our licenses.

    Roy Jaruk
    September 1, 2009 at 9:33 am

  4. Good question Roy. I do know that the Sherriff had quite a few C&R and vintage guns for sale. Contact Dave Whitlock at the CSPD or you can call Sue Skiffington-Blumberg the public communications person at the city at 719-385-5254. She can transfer you to the CSPD.

    Lon
    September 3, 2009 at 1:19 pm