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
“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
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
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.
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
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
“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.