Pentagon Shooters Guns Were Confiscated By Memphis Police

Shooters guns used in the Pentagon and Las Vegas Courthouse shooting were originally confiscated by Memphis police and later sold.

The guns that shooters used in the Pentagon and the Las Vegas Courthouse were linked to a police department in Memphis, Tenneessee. The weapons were used in other crimes and then sold to individual gun dealers once the prior cases were closed. In fact, the day of the Pentagon shooting, the Tennessee governor signed legislation revising a state law on confiscated guns.

One of the firearms in the Pentagon assault was seized by Memphis police in 2005. It was later traded at a gun show. Another weapon that circulated from the police department through a gun show was also used in the January 4 courthouse shooting in Las Vegas.

To complicate matters, it was sold by a judge’s order and the proceeds given to the Memphis-area sheriff’s office. Neither weapon was sold by the Memphis law enforcement agencies directly to the men who later used them to shoot officers. In both cases, the weapons first went to licensed gun dealers, but later came into the hands of men who were legally barred from possessing them.

Law enforcement officials say John Patrick Bedell, a man with a history of severe psychiatric problems, had been sent a letter by California authorities on January 10. The letter informed him that he was prohibited from buying a gun because of his mental history. Bedell purchased the Ruger 9mm at a gun show in Las Vegas.

Many cities destroy weapons used during criminal activity. Others trade or sell weapons to purchase other inventories such as bullet proof vests. More than 24 states that have passed legislation loosening gun restrictions.

What Happens To Those Confiscated Firearms?

The weapons that police confiscate are stored as evidence until disposition of each criminal case in question. Then, once they’re no longer needed it’s up to each police department to decide what to do with them. There is no uniform policy for this.

Police departments used to would dump these guns into watery graves far out into the ocean creating artificial reefs of rusting revolvers and rifles. Some departments kept the firearms for their SWAT Team’s use or traded them with neighboring law enforcement agencies. Other departments have been known to auction off confiscated guns or sell them to registered dealers for much needed cash.

Cashing out on weapons that were already involved in a crime does put them right back on the street. In fact, a lot of weapons that are seized are from people who aren’t supposed to have them in the first place. There is great debate on this issue.

Some weapons are turned in through volunteer ‘No Questions Asked’ neighborhood collection to be destroyed. They’re literally shredded in huge metal chomping machines called alligators with a jaw power of 200 tons of cutting force. The weapons are pulverized into small pieces of scrap metal and sold for about 25 cents a pound.

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