Wichita’s seized guns were sold for $425,000, but the city brought in less than half of that
WICHITA (AP) — One of he biggest gun dealers in south-central Kansas is the city of Wichita, but it actually received less than half the proceeds from the sales because it works with several online companies to auction off the firearms.
Since a state law allowing the gun sales passed in 2015, Wichita has sold 2,082 guns that were seized during a variety of crimes but were no longer needed because the criminal cases were complete.
The city generated $196,000 on the gun sales, and that money went into a fund that pays for miscellaneous police equipment. But The Wichita Eagle learned that the city received less than half of the $425,000 in total sales the guns generated because the companies than handle the sales take a significant chunk of the proceeds.
The law requires the the guns to be sold at auction, so the city contracts with Propertyroom.com, which sells the guns through a partnership with a major gun retailer.
The city finance director said officials last took proposals for the gun contract two years ago and renewing Propertyroom’s deal was the best offer they got.
Supporters of the practice, such as Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell, who wrote the law, say it’s no different than police departments selling off other seized property like cars or jewelry. And any gun purchases require background checks.
Former Rep. Jim Ward, who also used to work as a city prosecutor, said he knows it’s impossible to keep all the guns off the street, but he never wanted the government in the gun businesses.