And the point of the gun tracing is what?

Given all the police departments that sell guns, what are the odds that one police department would have this happen? It seems incredibly high to me. I also don't see the difference between a gun sold by a police department that gets used in a crime and a gun from any other sale. Does a gun become different just because that particular one is used in a crime? Does it function differently later? Hardly.

DEVLIN BARRETT at the Associated Press apparently thinks that this is newsworthy. Note the balance in this story. John Timoney's quote is balanced off how?

Two guns used in high-profile shootings this year at the Pentagon and a Las Vegas courthouse both came from the same unlikely place: the police and court system of Memphis, Tenn.

Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that both guns were once seized in criminal cases in Memphis. The officials described how the weapons made their separate ways from an evidence vault to gun dealers and to the shooters.

The use of guns that were once in police custody to attack police officers highlights a little-known divide in gun policy in the U.S.: Many cities and states destroy guns gathered in criminal probes, but others sell or trade the weapons in order to get other guns or buy police equipment.

In fact, on the day of the Pentagon shooting, March 4, the Tennessee governor signed legislation revising state law on confiscated guns. Before, law enforcement agencies in the state had the option of destroying a gun. Under the new version, agencies can only destroy a gun if it's inoperable or unsafe.

Kentucky has a similar law, but it's not clear how many other states have laws specifically designed to promote the police sale or trade of confiscated weapons.

A nationwide review by The Associated Press in December found that over the previous two years, 24 states — mostly in the South and West, where gun-rights advocates are particularly strong — have passed 47 new laws loosening gun restrictions. Gun rights groups are making a greater effort to pass favorable legislation in state capitals.

John Timoney, who led the Philadelphia and Miami police departments and served as New York's No. 2 police official, said he doesn't believe police departments should be putting more guns into the market. . . .

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Blogger Unknown said...

The real counter to this would be how many crimes and/or self-defense examples can be given where the weapon used for defense could be traced back to a police department sale of "buy back program" or confiscated guns. Further, examples could be given where the revenue generated from those sales led to funding for police projects that reduced crime.

This story is one sided, missing the other very valuable aspects of gun sales through police departments. Unfortunately, the tracing of guns used positively is unlikely, as the tracing itself isn't done on the victim's gun. Guns are not in short supply and to suggest that somehow "these" guns from the police sale are more likely to be used in a crime is ridiculous.

3/15/2010 11:06 AM  
Blogger David said...

Doesn't everyone know once a gun is exposed to a life of crime it will never regain it's morals.

The statement by Timoney is just wrong. The police are not manufacturing the guns and putting them into the market, but that is irrelevant anyway. Guns are a legal product with legal a purpose.

Another thought that occurred to me was this: Tennessee recently passed an act called "The Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act" that says the Federal Government cannot regulate a product, in this case firearms, that is produced and not sold across state lines. The idea is that a manufacturer in Tennessee could make and sell firearms without ATF oversight as long as they are not sold out of the state. This could be a shot by the anti's to undermine that premise by showing guns coming from the legal system in that State.

3/15/2010 11:42 AM  
Blogger John A said...

As pointed out elsewhere, police also sell confiscated/seized cars. have any such been involved in later problems on the road? Does this practice actually increase the number of potentially death-dealing autos?

3/15/2010 1:41 PM  

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