PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – Counties across the state are reaping the benefits that an inaugural, state-wide gun confiscation program is now utilizing to bring in more funds to local police departments. In Wyoming County, the Sheriff’s department given a check for just over $19,000.
“When we turned in the guns we figured we would get three or four thousand dollars out of them, but then when they presented the check for nineteen-thousand dollars, it was actually a shock,” says Bradley Ellison, a Sheriff of Wyoming County.
The check is just a portion of the nearly $145,000 dollars raised during the annual unclaimed property firearms auction in July.
“It’s really exciting for us to be here in a position where we can actually fund the police rather than where you have politicians in D.C talking about de-funding the police. We’re so happy just to be able to provide these funds here today,” says Riley Moore, WV State Treasurer.
Because of the program’s success, the state plans to continue holding the annual auctions. Secretary Moore says the treasury feels the auctions are a beneficial way to get rid of old, unused guns while bringing in extra money police departments across the state can use.
“Budgets are tight here in every county and being able to take old guns, old firearms, perhaps things that have been sitting in evidence lockers forever that are no longer in use for cases, it’s a good way to be able to get funds back to our police departments,” he says.
So far, West Virginia is the first state in the country to utilize a gun confiscation program like this but more states are already trying to replicate it.
To be able to bid at these auctions, you are required to have a Federal Firearms License or an FFL.