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Old 10-08-2007, 05:56   #1
NRA_guy
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How do Missisippi cities dispose of confiscated guns

I asked in another thread here in Mississippi Glockers, but got no response to the question, "How do cities in Mississippi get rid of confiscated guns?"

They are claiming to "take thousands of guns off the streets" every year.

So, I looked it up. Here is the published state guidance to counties. This is for counties. Not sure how this relates to city PD gun disposal.

Might be really interesting to find out how Jackson and other cities are doing it. I am betting that they don't follow the rules. Just a hunch.

Quote:
MISSISSIPPI COUNTY FIXED ASSETS MANAGEMENT MANUAL
Prepared by
The Division of Property
Ross Campbell, Director

OFFICE OF THE STATE AUDITOR
PHIL BRYANT, AUDITOR
First Issued, June 1994
Revised, January 2004

Guidelines for Accounting for Property Weapons

A. All weapons confiscated by a duly appointed peace officer should not be disposed of without an Order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Confiscated weapons are to be held as evidence until a Court Order is issued dictating the method of disposal.

B. Every law enforcement agency shall maintain a docket of all seized deadly weapons, including firearms. - [Section 45-9-151, Miss. Code Ann. (1972 amended)]

1. The docket shall contain the following information: a. name of arresting officer;

b. date of arrest;

c. charge upon which the seizure is based;

d. name of person from whom weapon seized;

e. physical description of weapon;

f. serial number of weapon;

g. chain of custody of weapon.

Entries into docket shall be made within ten (10) days of seizure.

C. A court of competent jurisdiction should order, either by forfeiture under Section 97- 37-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, or by a civil action for forfeiture, one of the following methods be employed to dispose of the confiscated weapon:

1. The confiscated weapon be disposed of by public auction;

2. The confiscated weapon be placed upon the property inventory of the state institution; or

3. The confiscated weapon be destroyed.

D. If the Order requires the confiscated weapon be disposed of by public auction, the following is required:

The confiscated weapon should be surrendered to the sheriff of the county in which said property was confiscated as required by Section 25-1-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated.

1. A copy of the Order requiring the confiscated weapon be sold should be provided to the county sheriff with documentation identifying each weapon by description and serial number.

2. A receipt of each weapon containing its description and serial number should be obtained from the county sheriff and retained in the institution's files with the related Court Order.

3. Confiscated weapons ordered by a court to be sold are not to be placed on county inventory.

E. If the Order requires the confiscated weapon be placed on the property inventory of the entity, the following is required:

The confiscated weapon should be accounted for under the rules and regulations promulgated by the Mississippi County Fixed Assets Management Manual, as are other personal property items acquired by the entity.

F. If the order requires the confiscated weapon be destroyed, the following is required:

1. The Order should contain a clear and precise method of destruction.

2. A return from the officer ordered to destroy the weapon shall be filed. The record of return should include the following:

a. A sworn statement from the officer that the weapon was destroyed as ordered;

b. Photographs or two statements from witnesses evidencing the weapon's destruction; and

c. A file maintained by the institution containing the Court Order, the officer's sworn statement and the supporting evidence.

3. Confiscated weapons ordered by a court to be destroyed are not to be placed on county inventories.
SOURCE

And this friendly advice to the State of Mississippi from our friends at the BATF in response to the question:

Quote:
Disposal of Weapons

Recently we were told that a city had received information
that indicated they could not sell used weapons to a Class III dealer after receiving bids. They were informed that ATF
rules prohibited such sales. In an effort to clarify this
situation we contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms and asked for a clarification on the subject of sales of weapons by state and local governments. We have
received a response which states, in part;

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
has taken the position that a government entity selling
confiscated, unclaimed or unnecessary firearms is
ordinarily exercising a governmental function, not a
proprietary one, and therefore the entity does not
require a Federal firearms license.

ATF strongly urges that sales by state, county, city, or
parish entities be made directly to or through federally
licensed firearms dealers. By limiting sales to
licensees, the subsequent disposition to private
individuals will be governed by the restrictions of both
State and Federal laws, including the Brady criminal
background check, and the receipt and disposition of the
firearms will be properly recorded in the dealer’s
records. Selling only to licensees will minimize the
possibility that the weapons will be sold to those
prohibited from possessing, transporting or receiving
firearms under State or Federal law. It may also reduce
any exposure the governmental entity may face should
the firearm be later misused. However, Federal law
does not require that such sales be made to licensees.
Should your State or political subdivision decide to sell
its firearms to the general public, sales should be
confined to residents of Mississippi so as to avoid
placing nonresidents in violation of the interstate
controls of the GCA, 18 U.S.C. S 922(a)(3). You
should also be aware that Federal law prohibits certain
categories of persons from receiving firearms. See 18
U.S.C. SS 922(g) and (n). The kind of sale or exchange,
whether through sealed bids, at auction, by trade for
other merchandise, or by direct sale, is not significant
provided that the governmental entity is not engaging in
the business of dealing firearms.”
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:42   #2
OXCOPS
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Since most guns taken are associated with felony charges, they will be sent through each county's Circuit Court. All major felony cases go through here, no matter if they are city PD, county SO, university, or other cases. Since the Sheriff is the Chief LEO of the county, and the LE agency associated with Circuit court security, the duty to dispose of seized items falls upon him, or his designee.

If they don't destroy them, they are usually "auctioned" to local FFLs. However, this is rare since most agencies tend to hang on to their evidence due to appeals, which can drag on for years. Think about that crackhead on death row, who is still appealing his murder convictions from the 1980's. Since a new trial could be ordered at any time up until his execution, the evidence must be retained.

I have personally performed a routine catalog of firearms in evidence at my old PD that were first entered before I was born. Some are still from cases on appeal. Others just haven't been disposed of. Since it's not illegal for them to just sit there, it's often not a top priority for an agency to dispose of them.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:39   #3
NRA_guy
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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:

Quote:

SEIZED WEAPONS

On Monday, Jackson police released a revised list of firearms seized in the past five years. The new report is an increase over previous figures. JPD blamed the earlier report on confusion about a request from The Clarion-Ledger. Here are the new figures:

2002 - 1,072
2003 - 1,019
2004 - 722
2005 - 690
2006 - 854
2007* - 660
Total - 5,017

* Through Sept. 24

Source: JPD
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Old 10-08-2007, 14:15   #4
OXCOPS
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Quote:
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:

[/B]

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.
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