ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Grant Parish Sheriff's Department held a gun auction this evening, auctioning more than 300 seized guns.
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The collection of firearms was carefully gone over before the sale, with some of the weapons dating back to the 1980's. The department verified that none of the weapons belong to an open criminal case and that all stolen guns were returned to their original owners.
Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton was on hand at the event and spoke on how beneficial these auctions can be for their departments.
“Over the course of time, every police department in the country is going to wind up with surplus guns,” said Sheriff Hilton. “(Auctions) are a way of turning the value of the guns back into money to go back into that department, to buy equipment that they need.”
The process of purchasing a gun from an auction is the same as purchasing one from a store: you have to pass a background check.
“It's no different than buying anywhere else. You've still got to pass your background check and we run background checks on everybody that purchases a gun,” said Barbara Bonnette, whose business, Bonnette Auctions, held the auction for the Sheriff’s department. “We've got a staff here that that’s all their doing. Even if you buy online, you have to be able to pass that background check when you pick that gun up.”
The proceeds for the auction will be used by the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office, with the funds going towards the department's general fund as well as to purchase new firearms.