Sheriff’s office ‘trades’ confiscated weapons
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Feb 17, 2013 | 1190 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What happens to firearms that are seized or recovered by law enforcement? Are they destroyed or sold?

A number of agencies used an online auction service to rid themselves of arms and raise cash for their budgets.

Bradley County Sheriff’s Office was one of those agencies, but now, according to Sheriff Jim Ruth, the office “trades” confiscated weaponry for firearms which deputies and SWAT members can use.

“It has been more beneficial to us at the Sheriff’s Office to trade them to gun dealers for the high-quality weapons that we provide for our deputies. It saves taxpayer money because we save a lot on new purchases for our deputies,” Ruth said

“People who want to purchase the weapons we have had in auctions can actually purchase them somewhat cheaper at the gun shops after we have traded them,” Ruth said.

Melinda Carrol, representative for the city of Cleveland, said a recent auction was held at which only federal firearms licensees were able to purchase guns.

“This is the first auction I am aware of the Cleveland Police Department has had in the last 12 years or more,” Carroll said.

Carroll added in the past at auction or arms sales, the city has sold guns to the public.

Three licensed dealers bid for 150-plus weapons, including semiautomatic handguns, rifles, revolvers and shotguns.

“Gun dealers will be doing background checks,” Carroll said regarding the dealers who purchased the guns for resale.

The city of Cleveland raised $16,035 during the arms sale.

“The money will be used to replace weapons that are out of warranty.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, strict guidelines for Federal Firearms Licensees are set.

Pawn shop owners, gun store owners, firearms dealers, manufacturers of both arms and ammunition and others go through a process for licensing by the ATF.

After the initial application process has begun, background checks are performed “for responsible persons” involved in the business of sales or trade.

That can include the proprietor, partners “or anyone having the power to direct management policies and practices of the business as it pertains to firearms,” according to the guidelines.

“In a corporation this includes corporate officers shareholders, board members or any other employee with the legal authority,” according to ATF’s guidelines.

Reviews of applications and reports submitted, and even face-to-face interviews, may also be required to complete the licensing of a potential firearms dealer or manufacturer.

In the trickle down to the consumer who wants to conceal and carry a firearm legally, a handgun safety course must be completed. The course must be certified by the Tennessee Department of Safety. Driver Service Center officials fingerprint and provide photo identification after TBI has completed background checks.

Recently, arms dealers have been very busy trying to keep inventory.

Terry Posey of Posey Gun and Pawn said sales continue to be high and inventory low.

Ammunition is also in short supply for virtually any caliber of firearm.