MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WVDN) – State Treasurer Riley Moore announced his Office’s recent unclaimed property firearms auction raised more than $8,800 for the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office – funds to be put towards improving safety and law enforcement efforts in the local community.
“We had a record amount of law enforcement agencies from around the state participate in my Office’s recent firearms auction,” Treasurer Moore said. “I’m proud we are able to turn outdated and unclaimed firearms, which would have been destroyed, into funds law enforcement officers can use to purchase new equipment and invest in training programs for the brave men and women who keep our communities safe.”
The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office received $8,802 from the State Treasurer’s Office’s most recent auction, which occurred September 21 in Charleston. Treasurer Moore presented the check to Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer, Evidence Coordinator Manzel Jones and Assistant Evidence Coordinator Karry Webster at the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, October 19.
“We are grateful to the State Treasurer’s Office for conducting this program,” Sheriff Palmer said. “It’s an easy process for our evidence team to log the firearms into our records and then turn them over to the Treasurer’s Office to be put up for auction. We plan to put the money into a forfeiture fund, which can be used for the equipment and training that we need.”
The firearms auction raised nearly $90,000 to benefit the 19 participating law enforcement agencies – a new record high number of police departments, sheriff’s offices and police detachments turning over property for the auction. The auction raises funds by selling outdated, unclaimed or old firearms, ammunition and related accessories in police inventory to qualified bidders.
The auctions are not open to the general public; only pre-registered Federal Firearms License Holders can attend and are eligible to bid.
Under West Virginia’s Unclaimed Property Code (Chapter 36, Article 8A), state and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction.
These include weapons that are older and no longer used by a department, or that have been seized as evidence and sitting in storage rooms for an extended amount of time following the disposition of a case. They can also include weapons taken from individuals who are not legally allowed to own firearms.
Once law enforcement certifies they cannot find a lawful owner of the firearms, they can be turned over to the Treasurer’s Office for auction. The proceeds from the auction are then returned to the submitting agency for use.
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