Originally posted by NRA_guy
Thanks, Ox. I know that evidence in gun related crimes gets kept (basically forever).
But I believe that lots of other "recovered" guns get siphoned off and end up in private hands. Guns are confiscated, but the owner never charged, or pleads guilty to a lesser crime and the gun never gets returned.
I have known people who knew a sheriff or policeman and they could get you a gun cheap.
I also suspect that how it gets handled depends upon what city/county you are in.
And I wonder just how "public" (competitive) these auctions to FFL dealers are. Anybody we know who bids on these auctions? I read legal notices pretty closely and I have never seen a notice of such an auction.
Even when they sell them to an FFL, I suspect there is an inside deal to a friendly FFL guy.
Besides, some guns have to be in unserviceable condition and some are recovered stolen property.
Unless they get rid of some guns, they must have guns coming out of their ears. This story ran recently about the Jackson police. Seems there was "confusion" the first time they answered. They first reported 282 guns confiscated since 2002. Then they revised it to 5,017. That's a big difference:
I have personally witnessed (and signed off on the proper forms) a handful of unrepairable weapons be destroyed. Usually, they are taken to the city's vehicle garage, where a tech puts a torch, or saw to them. They are "worked over" just enough to make them completely beyond repair (which isn't hard considering their condition). Then, they are tossed in the scrap metal bin with tons of other scrap.
As for those recovered, or taken from someone not charged, they are held like any other gun in evidence. If the gun is taken as part of an arrest, but no gun charges, that firearm is logged into property. Once the owner bonds out, they can come show proof of ownership, then claim their firearm.
If it is taken WITH gun charges, then it requires an order from a judge for us to release it back to the owner. Some people just don't take the effort to get that court order.
Many, many years ago (30+), a judge would transfer possession of the weapon to the arresting officer, if they wanted it. Almost a "spoils of war" type of thing.
As far as contracting with an FFL, the only time I have ever known my old PD to do it was to place them in their shop on consignment. How they picked that particular FFL, I don't know, but I do know they sent out letters to all the FFLs inside the city limits asking if they wanted to submit a bid.