An Atlanta state senator wants police departments to have the option of destroying confiscated firearms.
Police and sheriff's departments sometimes like to show off guns that they've seized during criminal investigations. What happens to them next is a matter of some controversy.
The Atlanta police department has thousands of confiscated guns in its property room and, I'm told, has no interest in selling them – despite a law on the books requiring APD and other police agencies to do so.
Five years ago, the Georgia legislature quietly passed a law that requires police agencies to sell firearms confiscated during criminal investigations. The buyers have to be licensed gun dealers.
Jerry Henry, a second-amendment advocate, says the law makes sense.
"There's no need to destroy the firearms," he said. "It's not just putting them back on the street. It's selling them to law-abiding citizens. There's no need to get rid of them."
State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) is backing an effort starting next month that would effectively repeal the law, giving law enforcement the option to destroy confiscated weapons instead of selling them.
"The law that requires police departments to sell weapons confiscated as part of crimes back into the public, I think, makes no sense whatsoever," she said.
Henry says the argument to repeal the law is an emotional one, not a logical one.
"Just because somebody committed a crime with it doesn't mean that the next person is going to commit a crime with it."