Guns seized by police set for sale

Published 11:59 am Friday, August 19, 2011

The Vicksburg Police Department’s collection of seized and recovered weapons could soon go on display for interested arms dealers, police chief Walter Armstrong said.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on July 8 declared 1,864 recovered firearms in police custody surplus property, opening the way for the department to sell or trade the weapons with a federally licensed firearms dealer and replace its 19-year-old 9mm Baretta handguns.

Armstrong said Thursday that he has received inquiries from several dealers interested in looking at the guns and making a bid. But plans to display the weapons after the board’s action were delayed when officers found another collection of recovered weapons at the police department.

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Under state law, the city has to petition the municipal, county and circuit courts to release the guns to the police department, and the board declare them surplus so the weapons can be sold.

“We’re waiting for the courts to release the weapons,” Armstrong said. “The (city) legal department has filed the paperwork. Once we get that release, we’ll be able to put the weapons on display.”

Some of the weapons that will be up for sale have been in the police department’s custody since 1978. The inventory includes handguns, rifles, assault weapons and shotguns that were either used in crimes, modified or had their serial numbers altered or removed, or abandoned or lost and never reclaimed.