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Archive for Friday, July 28, 2000

State agency delays confiscated gun sale

July 28, 2000

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— The Department of Revenue is postponing a gun sale that it didn't want to hold in the first place.

The department had scheduled a gun sale for Saturday but had declined to say where and when it would take place because federal law says guns confiscated by law enforcement officers can be sold only to federally licensed firearm dealers.

However, department spokesman Scott Holeman said that law appears to conflict with a state law that requires public notice of such sales.

The department plans to hold the sale sometime in September.

The department had planned on selling about 400 guns that it had confiscated in drug raids or prosecutions of drug offenders. Revenue Secretary Karla Pierce has said the sale is required by a state law that imposes a tax on illegal drugs.

Gov. Bill Graves said in December that the state shouldn't be selling guns. He later proposed legislation to prevent the practice, but legislators rejected his proposal.

The state began selling confiscated firearms to licensed dealers at least seven years ago, but the Department of Revenue hasn't made any sales since July 1, 1998. The department said that during the five years that ended on that date, the department sold more than 300 firearms worth more than $50,000.

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