Spokane, Wash. ends gun sales by police after probe

Spokane, Wash. ends gun sales by police after probe
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The city of Spokane passed a city ordinance on Tuesday banning police from selling confiscated guns, according to The Associated Press

The ordinance was approved after an AP story investigating the reselling of confiscated guns. That report concluded that many of the guns sold by the police were used for new crimes.

The ordinance to prohibit the sales passed 6-1 Monday. Instead of selling guns that are confiscated, police will have to dispose of them.

“Disposing of long guns and assault rifles is a sensible approach,” Councilwoman Candace Mumm told the AP.

“Instead of spending time recycling weapons, our police staff can get back to the primary mission of solving crimes and protecting the public.”


Spokane is the second city to ban law enforcement arms sales after the AP's report, following King County in Washington, which passed a similar ordinance on Oct. 2.

Between 2011 and 2018, the forfeited firearms sales generated $16,787 for Spokane, according to the ordinance. Those sales ranged from $633 to about $7,488 in any given year.

“We may actually be costing the city coffers by reselling and recycling the guns," Mumm explained to AP.

The text of the ordinance reads as follows:

“The City of Spokane intends to do all it can to prevent and reduce violent crime in Spokane and has determined that destroying all seized or forfeited firearms rather than reselling them to the public or to gun dealers is a simple, sensible and effective way to reduce access to firearms and help reduce and prevent gun violence.”