Austin City Council might ban resale of police officers’ guns
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Highlights

In 2016, a deal sent more than 1,100 Austin police firearms to a private gun dealer, saving city $368,328.

Resolution from City Council Member Alison Alter calls for no similar police gun deals in the future.

For the price of $395, you could own a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson once used by an on-duty Austin police officer.

Proof? The department’s name is stamped right on the side of the black semi-automatic handgun.

Houston-based Bailey’s House of Guns has been hawking police service weapons it bought from the Austin Police Department since at least March 2017, several months after the city of Austin agreed to sell 1,156 of them to the gun dealer in exchange for a discount on purchasing 1,788 9 mm handguns to replace them.

Austin City Council Member Alison Alter said Tuesday she would have tried to block the deal had she been on the council at the time. Now, Alter said, she hopes that after Thursday’s council meeting, she can guarantee that Austin police handguns emblazoned with the department’s name never make it to the resale market.

“It is important that we make a statement that this is not part of our values and we want to change our community,” Alter told the American-Statesman.

Bernard Bailey, the owner of Bailey’s House of Guns, did not respond to an interview request Tuesday, but a company employee who asked not to be named said the business still has about 200 of the Austin police handguns for sale. Their buyers are generally collectors interested in owning a gun once used by police, the employee said.

Of Texas’ 50 largest law enforcement agencies, 21 have sold their weapons to the public, according to a December report from the Texas Standard and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Those include Austin and San Antonio police departments, who both did large scale trade-in deals with gun dealers after they changed the standard-issue handgun for officers. Law enforcement officers in many other departments, including the Travis County sheriff’s office and the Houston police, own their own weapons, according to spokespeople for those departments.

The 2016 deal involving the Austin Police Department’s swap of the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson for a 9 mm replacement saved the city $368,328, according to city documents.

But state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, ignited debate regarding the sale in a March 24 speech at the Austin March for Our Lives rally, telling the crowd of 20,000 that it “boggles the mind that here in our own city we allow our APD to sell its used guns back into the private market.”

During a City Council work session Tuesday, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said he might try to have Alter’s resolution amended to allow the city to continue to resell police weapons, but only to other law enforcement agencies.

“We have no follow-up mechanism to make sure they don’t take our guns and turn them right over to the gun dealers and they’re out on the street with APD stamped on them,” Alter said in response.



Comments:
Liberals at work again, if you're that worried, change the slides or don't have your name stamped on them!
Posted by Darel Beene at 5/11/2018 11:16:53 AM

What kind of fiscal responsibility is this? You are saving the taxpayers of Austin a lot of money by trading them in. Oh, I get it, the money is not the issue but making a wrong-headed political statement is...

When these gun are sold, they must be sold legally, including a background check and are then registered to the new owner. It's not as if they are being sold out of the trunk of a car in the dark of night.
Posted by Ex Detective at 5/11/2018 4:21:13 PM

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