perhaps the firearm is being held for evidence in the event of a future case
That could well be the defense's argument: "Well, gee, we don't know what evil things were done with that evil ol' gun, so we have to hang on to it until we know for sure it isn't evidence. Say, around the middle of the 23rd Century!"
Where's the barf smiley when you really need it?
Violence is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and valorous feeling which believes that nothing is worth violence is much worse. Those who have nothing for which they are willing to fight; nothing they care about more than their own personal safety; are miserable creatures who have no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of those better than themselves. Gary L. Griffiths, Chief Instructor, Advanced Force Tactics, Inc. (Paraphrasing John Stuart Mill)