Monday, April 17, 2017

ND: Williston Police Gun Auction nets over $55,000 for 149 Guns

On Wednesday, April 12, the Williston Police Department of Williston, North Dakota, auctioned off 149 firearms that had been collected over the last couple of decades. From
Hundreds of people attended the Williston Police Department's first gun auction.  
In total, 149 guns forfeited to the department through criminal investigations were up for bid.

"I used to have a federal firearms license and I used to have a side gun business. If I do stay here, I'm going to do it again and that's why I came here. To get an education," says Gary Silva, an auction attendee.

Some of the oldest guns for sale had been in the department's custody since the 1990s.

"We are now kind of running out of space for those guns and it's time to get rid of those firearms," says WPD Sergeant Detective Jacob Gregory.

North Dakota is one of at least 11 states that have enacted laws either allowing or requiring police departments to sell forfeited guns at auction.
You can view the list of guns auctioned at badlandsauction.files. Some designations that catch the eye are:

Keltec KSG 12 gauge
Israel Weapon Rifle
Kimber Custom Covert II  45
Colt Revolver King Cobra
Bushmaster 223 XM15
Brown(ing)? .22 rifles
Savage Lever Action wood grain  (maybe a model 99?)
LW Seecamp

The person compiling the list did not seem overly concerned with clear and accurate firearm descriptions. My experience with North Dakota auctions is they tend to have a higher class of firearms than average.

The inexpert naming did not reduce the prices, at least not noticeably. The Williston Police Department sold the firearms in a smart and efficient way. They had a live auction with an experienced auctioneer.  Firearms sold at live auctions tend to bring top dollar.

The benefit to the Williston city general fund was over $55,000 for 149 firearms, an average of $369 per firearm.

It is easy to see why the North Dakota legislature requires departments across the state to sell firearms that they acquire for the benefit of the public. It would have required scarce resources to destroy these valuable assets. Instead of costing the city dollars, the auction put money in the public treasury.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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