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Old February 15, 2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Why are guns destoryed after a crime

Why do guns get destroyed by police after a crime. Why can't they resell them later after the trial. If a Car isn't too badly damaged, they destroyed after drunk driving, they repair them and reuse.
Has Taurus really spent more on shipping customers their firearms back to them than actual sales?
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:05 PM   #2
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Back in the 70's a when nearby police dept. had been ordered to destroy almost 60 guns their armorer called me and said he felt like he owed me some favors and since he only had to destroy the main frame or receiver he offered to let me go through them in his shop and salvage them out. I spent 3 evenings after work stripping them. Still have a lot of that stuff.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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Because the guns soak up the souls of the people they kill and hunger for more blood.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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For the same reason that every gun control law that gets adopted is passed. Pure fear mongering and emotion. Reason and rationality need not apply. "We can't let that criminal weapon back out on the street? Are you completely heartless?!!!"
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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??? Your right. This is stupid.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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To resell them at auction could be a source of revenue for the city, county, etc. However, this goes against the antis fearmongering tactics. Let's just raise taxes some more and cut services.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Not all police departments destroy them. I do believe that there are some departments out there that sell them back to law abiding gun owners and perform NICS checks on the sales. However, I'm guessing destruction is a much more common process, and probably rooted in the anti-gun attitudes many large city department officials seem to poses.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Most of the guns recovered aren't worth much, so it may not be worth the time trying to resell them. Plus, some of them could be dangerous if not checked out by a qualified gunsmith. Again, that makes it not worth their time. But, I don't agree in destroying them. Seems the good guns could be sold to a shop or something.
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Old February 16, 2013, 05:19 AM   #9
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Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, writes at length about this sort of thing in the beginning of his book, The Common Law ( ):

"As long ago as Bracton, in case a man was slain, the coroner was to value the object causing the death, and that was to be forfeited as deodand 'pro rege.' It was to be given to God, that is to say to the Church, for the king, to be expended for the good of his soul." (p. 24)

"In Edward the First's time some of the cases remind us of the barbarian laws at their rudest stage. If a man fell from a tree, the tree was deodand. If he drowned in a well, the well was to be filled up. It did not matter that the forfeited instrument belonged to an innocent person. 'Where a man killeth another with the sword of John at Stile, the sword shall be forfeit as deodand, and yet no default is in the owner.' That is from a book written in the reign of Henry VIII., about 1530. ... It is said that a steam-engine has been forfeited in this way."

"... the fact of motion is adverted to as as of much importance. A maxim of Henry Spigurnel, a judge in the time of Edward I., is reported, that 'where a man is killed by a cart, or by the fall of a house, or in other like manner, and the thing in motion is the cause of the death, it shall be deodand.'" (p. 25)

After quite a lot of rambling about ships, there's this:

"The following is a passage from a judgment by Chief Justice Marshall, which is quoted with approval by Judge Story in giving the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States: 'This is not a proceeding against the owner; it is a proceeding against the vessel for an offence committed by the vessel; which is not the less an offence, and does not the less subject her to forfeiture, because it was committed without the authority and against the will of the owner. It is true that inanimate matter can commit no offence. But this body is animated and put into action by the crew, who are guided by the master. The vessel acts and speaks by the master. She reports herself by the master. It is, therefore, not unreasonable that the vessel should be affected by this report.' ... ' The thing is here primarily considered as the offender, or rather the offence is primarily attached to the thing.'" (p. 29)

"In other words, those great judges, although of course aware that a ship is no more alive than a mill-wheel, thought that not only the law did in fact deal with it as if it were alive, but that it was reasonable that the law should do so. The reader will observe that they do not say simply that it is reasonable on grounds of policy to sacrifice justice to the owner to security for somebody else, but that it is reasonable to deal with the vessel as an offending thing. Whatever the hidden ground of policy may be, their thought still clothes itself in personifying language." (pp. 29-30)
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:40 AM   #10
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Some portion marked as "destroyed" gets into the hands of some law enforcement personnel as throw away or "drop guns."
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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There is a word for the mentality that believes the object is somehow responsible for the actions of the crime.
They really believe destroying the guns will help prevent it's use in crime again. No amount of logic or words can change that thinking.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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Years ago, my father worked/ran a scrape yard with a shredder and about once every 12 to 18 months the ATF, FBI and the local police department would put up with boxes of handguns, rifles and knifes to put through the shredder.

The biggest part that came out was about the size of a half-dollar. Most of
the guns were junk but I have seen some quality guns. I would guess the most expensive was a Colt Gold Cup.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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I think of it as a way to keep good men and women working. If more used weapons hit the market there is less room for new ones. Therefore destroying a small percentage means that the factories churn out more new ones.
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Old February 16, 2013, 03:00 PM   #14
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In all honesty, guns are routinely destroyed because liberal judges feel that to do so removes death-dealing objects from society, and the act of destroying weapons makes society safer.
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Old February 16, 2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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So many lost treasures.

Years back I sold wirerope to the steel mills in northern Indiana. one day the buyer said you got to see this. A dumptruck, yes dumptruck, full of handguns, shotguns and rifles. Eighty percent were absolute junk. But the two that caught my eye was a Nazi luger(you just knew it was stolen) and a mint Model 19 Smith&Wesson. It was heavily guarded. But I asked it I could take the grips off the Smith. "No!" said the cop. I said I have the gun already, but I have pachmayer grips and would like a wood said. He told me if I touched that gun he would arrest me. What a jerk. Not saying he had to give them to me, but being a jerk for no reason. Well, they all went into the smelter. The wood would burts into flames and soon they were all molten. So next time you see steel on something just wonder what it was before, could have been a Nazi Luger or some other prize.

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Old February 18, 2013, 09:09 AM   #16
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Years ago in Indiana they were sold at the police/sheriff unclaimed property auction. then the anti's got their panties in a bunch and began to raise a stink about putting these terrible guns back on the street so they went to the policy of only auctioning them off to FFL holders. As you would expect, this wasn't good enough for the anti's who cried and moaned and wrung their hankies, so they went to the current policy of destroying them. It is a quite ridiculous policy in what is otherwise a fairly gun-friendly state.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:07 AM   #17
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In our area the court's decide. Some guns are destroyed and some are returned to owners. The majority of them go to auction. Another local agency puts fixed prices on the stuff they sieze instead of auction. They actually put really reasonable prices on the stuff at a local shop, picked up some cheap rifles that way!
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:13 AM   #18
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Because those are the baddest of bad guns. They have already robbed someone or tasted, for the good of society, they have to be destroyed in places.
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:14 PM   #19
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After my brother shot himself in his head with my 22 revolver, I just didnt want it back. They melted it down.

Seemed the thing to do at the time. I replaced the revolver...
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:39 PM   #20
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I believe the police in my area do auction them off. They randomly have large auctions of firearms so at least thats where I'm guessing they came from. They couldn't be retired duty guns because they'll have random guns from cheap things like hi-points to Colt 1911s.
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:57 PM   #21
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markj, in regards to your experience, I don't want to presume.

But in some cases like yours, destroying or getting rid of what would otherwise be a reminder is best.

My Grandfather committed suicide with a revolver during the depression and so Mom never liked my Dad to have pistols in the house. She was ok with rifles and shotguns, but pistols she didn't like. Later on she got over that but my Dad gave her the time to get over it on her own.
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Old February 18, 2013, 06:47 PM   #22
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The Dude is right. These guns are now evil. they have tasted blood and they want more. They must have a stake driven through their black heart. For the children, of course.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:10 AM   #23
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Our Fish and Game auctions of firearms seized for poaching and similar violations. Unfortunately they don't supply stories as one of the rifles was a semi-auto version of a 1919A4 Browning machine gun and I always wondered exactly what they were doing with that to have it seized.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:02 AM   #24
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Cars don't have a ballistic finger-print, looking at the analogy made in the OP.

My guess is that guns are destroyed because they have characteristic ballistic properties in their rifling and the police don't want to close a case and then have another shooting with the same ballistics taking place yet un related to the initial crime.

That is the only reason I can think of.

It is a shame though: getting them re-barrelled would be an option, assuming I have it right...
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:47 AM   #25
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I guess once a gun has the taste of crime and killing in it, the gun will be harder to control and might just jump up and fire itself to satisfy the blood lust. Or maybe some folks think that guns have a power like the car in Stephen King's "Cristine" where the gun will change the personality of the new owner to more closely match the original owner/criminal and spur him on to commit some crime. I have heard people say they support the AWB because those guns "look so evil". There is no reasonable argument that works with people who have these beliefs. Maybe we have not progressed very far from punishing a tree after a man falls from it and dies.
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