Bill would prevent police from destroying confiscated guns
Police departments would no longer be able to destroy confiscated or surrendered guns that are in good working order under the proposal.Posted — Updated
The measure, House Bill 714, says departments may sell or auction weapons, use them for training or otherwise re-purpose them, but they may not destroy a gun if it is legal to own and in good working order.
"It seems fiscally responsible to maintain it," said Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, R-Mecklenburg.
As it passed the committee, the bill also takes away the discretion of judges to order the destruction of a weapon that has been confiscated in a criminal case.
That caused dissension among lawmakers, including Rep. John Faircloth, R-Guilford, one of the primary sponsors of the bill.
"We ought to leave the judge the same authority he has now," Faircloth said. The bill, he said, should be adjusted to apply to guns that are voluntarily surrendered to police departments, such as during gun buyback programs, or donated. The proposal, he said, shouldn't restrict what police departments can do with guns confiscated in crimes.
However, those changes weren't made in committee. Rather, lawmakers pledged to make them when the bill goes to the House floor.
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