Push For Police Department to Destroy Guns Rooted In Fear – Bearing Arms

Push For Police Department to Destroy Guns Rooted In Fear – Bearing Arms

Police departments come into possession of firearms for a number of reasons. Some are seized during arrests and others are turned in.

What happens afterward varies in different places, but in many, it means they’re sold to gun dealers who then sell them to customers just as they’d sell any other used firearm.

It’s pretty straightforward.

Yet a lot of people have a problem with this practice. They freak out over it.

Still others get worked up over the fact that when they’re sent out for destruction, companies that charge nothing for it turn out to make their money destroying the receivers and selling the other parts. They even created a cute little name for the guns built with those parts: Zombie guns.

But with regard to the police departments themselves, the Bangor Daily News–perhaps the most anti-gun publication in the state of Maine–really trips over themselves by saying that departments should destroy all of the guns.

In the absence of a state law barring the practice, law enforcement agencies can still destroy weapons forfeited to them. It doesn’t take a law change for more agencies to do this.

Maine law currently requires all forfeited firearms used in the commission of a murder or homicide to be destroyed, but police may sell guns used in other crimes. Reporting by the Bangor Daily News’ Maine Focus team found that the Oxford County sheriff had sold guns from evidence to a local gun shop without following the legally required steps or documenting the deal. This was the impetus for the bill to ban such sales, which was sponsored by Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth.

Many police departments, in Maine and across the country, already destroy weapons that are either forfeited to or turned in to them.

However, as the Maine Monitor reported earlier this year, there needs to be more accountability among the companies that are paid to destroy such weapons. Some guns are not fully destroyed with some components being sold as part of kits to make new weapons. This is counter to the whole point of law enforcement agencies sending in weapons to be destroyed.

This entire nonsense is motivated by exactly one thing: Fear. 

They’re scared of guns and while they know they can never ban the sale of guns entirely, this is one way to try and make it just that much harder for people to get them.

What’s missing from these discussions is that police departments sell many of these guns to raise additional money to fund things like training; money the taxpayers don’t have the pony up. If all these guns are destroyed, where will that money come from?

Further, that destruction will largely require payment to the company in question. Those that do it for free do so in order to obtain the other parts, that they later sell. This practice is being decried above, which means those companies will need to be compensated in some other manner. That’s going to mean a charge for each gun, thus making the process more expensive.

“Yeah, but violent crime-“

The truth is that a so-called zombie gun is really nothing but a “ghost gun” where the parts come secondhand. You’re out of your mind if you think that someone making a gun for illicit purposes is going to be dissuaded by the lack of used parts.

In addition, we also know that guns sold to licensed dealers are then sold to people who complete a Form 4473 and pass the required background check. These are people who have never been convicted of any kind of felony or domestic violence charge. They’re law-abiding people, generally speaking, and thus don’t present a threat to the public.

This idea of destroying all guns is predicated on the editorial board’s fear of guns and people who buy them. There’s no rational reason why all guns should be destroyed beyond making them feel so much better. It won’t stop criminals, not that Maine has all that many in the first place, and it won’t prevent anything except some people who can’t afford a new gun being able to buy one used.

That’s all there is to it and everyone knows it.

Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/tomknighton/2024/06/14/push-for-police-department-to-destroy-guns-rooted-in-fear-n1225274
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