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Richmond County Sheriff's Office will hold pre-bid viewing for seized firearms auction

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 9:42 PM
Last updated Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 10:47 AM
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Running out of room to store firearms seized by his department, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree put more than 1,400 of them on the auction block in hopes of getting more money for police operations.

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Michael Humphreys holds a gun in the old Richmond County Sheriff's office building. Most of the guns that will be auctioned were seized in the early- and mid-90s.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Michael Humphreys holds a gun in the old Richmond County Sheriff's office building. Most of the guns that will be auctioned were seized in the early- and mid-90s.

The guns will be auctioned off as a single lot to a federally licensed firearm distribution company through a sealed bid process. A pre-bid conference is today at 10 a.m. at the procurement department. Then, licensed companies can view the firearms secured in the former sheriff’s administration building, 401 Walton Way.

According to Georgia law, seized weapons cannot be destroyed – Roundtree’s preferred method of disposing of about 5,000 firearms the sheriff’s office has stored. The firearms must be sold or retained.

Proceeds of the sale go to the city’s general fund, but the sheriff said he planned to ask the Augusta Commission to redirect the money to police operations.

No illegal guns, those used in homicides or suicides, guns with a scratched-off serial number or combat and assault weapons were included in the auction lot.

“We want to make it clear these guns are not to be put out on the streets,” Roundtree said at a special viewing of the firearms for the media Thursday.

Rifles and shotguns lined the walls of a secured room and handguns filled 23 small bins. Most of the weapons were seized in the early- and mid-90s, many from drug deals and burglaries.

Several Richmond County deputies guarded the room, closely watching members of the media view hunting rifles, antique long guns, service weapons from the former Augusta Police Department and other firearms.

Augusta businessman Donnie Thompson plans to view the firearms Friday for his Southeastern Armory company. He participates in similar sales frequently.

“We will look at it and see what the value is to us,” Thompson said.

Roundtree said he had no idea how much the highest bid will be. If the auction is successful, the sheriff’s office could hold another one.

IT’S TOTALLY LEGAL

In May 2012, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 350 into law mandating that state municipalities and law enforcement agencies return stolen firearms to the lawful owner if able. If no owner can be found, the guns might be auctioned to licensed firearms dealers.

The law, backed by pro-gun groups, changed a previous statute that allowed for guns to be immediately destroyed.

Comments (13) Add comment
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fedex227
11058
Points
fedex227 10/24/13 - 11:07 pm
2
2
Does anyone know the reasoning behind this? Just curious.
Unpublished

"According to Georgia law, seized weapons cannot be destroyed."

grinder48
1837
Points
grinder48 10/25/13 - 06:54 am
0
0
Hard To Believe
Unpublished

Not sayin' it ain't so but it's hard to believe the rightful owners' of that much property can't be found ...

Radwaste
400
Points
Radwaste 10/25/13 - 07:25 am
5
1
Not A Problem

Seriously. These weapons will go to a licensed dealer/distributor, from which each and every sale must be approved by the completion of a Federal Form 4473 and a background check.

And from the picture, it is unlikely that the Attorney General will release them to Mexican drug lords to be used against Americans - again.

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 10/25/13 - 09:02 am
0
0
Another ARC sealed bid process. Can we say LOL LOL LOL
Unpublished

Another ARC sealed bid process. Can we say LOL LOL LOL

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/25/13 - 09:18 am
2
0
Hope United Loans gets them

Hope United Loans gets them so they stay in the area. They buy gold too boy !

deestafford
25317
Points
deestafford 10/25/13 - 09:35 am
4
0
Great idea.

This seems to be a great program that will be beneficial to all. I get a smile on my face thinking about the hissy fit Mayor Blumberg of NYC would have if he saw this proposal. I'm sure the guns will eventually end of in the hands of law abiding people who appreciate the right of firearm ownership.

bdouglas
4789
Points
bdouglas 10/25/13 - 11:28 am
4
0
If Thompson gets a hold of a

If Thompson gets a hold of a bunch of them, he's gonna make a ton off them! Stopped in that store before, and even for the used guns it's apparent from the prices that they REALLY like what they have. Used weapons going for higher than new prices in many cases.

Sweet son
9943
Points
Sweet son 10/25/13 - 12:23 pm
0
6
Thompson feels like his guns are worth as much as his diamonds

at Windsor Jewelers. The Georgia law should be changed and everyone of the guns should be destroyed!!!!!

GuyGene
1247
Points
GuyGene 10/25/13 - 12:30 pm
3
0
My stolen...

Hmmm, wonder if my circa 1968 Marlin 30.30 with Tasco scope is in that bunch? It was stolen in 1989. Have to see if I have serial number somewhere...

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/25/13 - 02:49 pm
4
0
Prices reflect what people

Prices reflect what people buy them for. Can't blame a business for charging what they can get for an item now can we? The same problem exist with the bullets. Everyone flaked out and stockpiled and now you can't find them anywhere and when you do, they are overpriced.

KSL
124683
Points
KSL 10/25/13 - 05:45 pm
3
1
Glad they are not destroying them.

Never let a good gun go to waste!

Bizkit
30133
Points
Bizkit 10/25/13 - 06:07 pm
2
1
The reason a gun can't be

The reason a gun can't be destroyed is they are like energy which can't be created or destroyed just transformed from one form to another. So you take the form and transform the owner from the police to some other buyer. Like a horse of a different color. It all makes sense now doesn't it. Hey wait a minute "seized" guns cannot be destroyed. So the mechanism is "seized" and the gun doesn't work. You don't have to destroy a gun that doesn't work. Why would you?

david jennings
571
Points
david jennings 10/26/13 - 08:31 am
0
0
Re: Story about man going into house to save beer

Going into a burning house to save beer isn' so silly after all.

oldredneckman96
5032
Points
oldredneckman96 10/27/13 - 12:14 am
1
0
Gun sale
Unpublished

It looks like Gov. Nathan Deal made a sweet heart deal with his friends to not let the public in on the auction of what is essencialy public property. The "licensed" gun dealer will mark these up double, and then sell them. If I can walk into his shop and buy the gun why can I not bid directly at the Sheriff auction? The more bidders you have at an auction the more money the items bring, the sheriffs office and the public is getting ripped off by the "dealer only" auction.

Radwaste
400
Points
Radwaste 10/28/13 - 05:13 am
0
1
@ oldredneckman:

If you look at the Treasury Department Web site, you will find that the Sheriff does not have the license necessary to conduct sales to the public.

That's all. Federal requirements trump your opinion on the matter. There is no "deal" involved, period.

ColCo
624
Points
ColCo 10/28/13 - 05:55 am
0
0
Not the only game in town

Donnie isn't the only gun dealer in town. There are lots of locally owned and chain store options, so there's no reason to ever step inside of his Southeastern Armory or his relative's United Loans and Firearms.

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