State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced his Office raised nearly $90,000 for several state and local law enforcement agencies during its 10th unclaimed property firearms auction conducted Thursday, September 21, in Charleston.
The event raised $89,825 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 The event raises funds by selling outdated, unclaimed or old firearms, ammunition and related accessories in police inventory to qualified bidders.
“This program has continued to grow over the last few years, and I’m proud we had a record number of law enforcement agencies from around West Virginia participate in my Office’s auction,” Treasurer Moore said. “It’s an honor to partner with state and local law enforcement to raise these funds that will be put towards keeping our state a safe place to live and raise a family.”
The State Treasurer’s Office has conducted ten firearm auctions since 2014. This event had 364 lots up for bid, consisting of 374 firearms and approximately 700 pounds of ammunition.
In March, the State Treasurer’s Office held an auction that raised a record total of more than $141,000 due to having its largest inventory up for 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(Chapter 36, Article 8A), state and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction.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 can then be returned to the submitting agency for use.
There were 18 federally licensed firearms dealers from six states registered to bid for this auction, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. To participate, bidders must be a valid, licensed federal firearms dealer – the event is not open to the general public.
The 19 participating law enforcement agencies included:
- Beckley Police Department
- Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department
- Grant County Sheriff’s Department
- Lewis County Sheriff’s Office
- McMechen Police Department
- Monongalia County Sheriff's Office
- Montgomery Police Department
- Moundsville Police Department
- Mount Hope Police Department
- Mountain Region Drug & Violent Crime Task Force
- Roane County Sheriff’s Department
- South Charleston Police Department
- Morgantown Police Department
- Spencer Police Department
- WV Department of Natural Resources – Farmington
- West Virginia State Police – Charlestown, Elkins, Morgantown and Philippi