SEATTLE (AP) — Law enforcement agencies that sell guns confiscated during criminal investigations, are not just selling pistols, they’re also selling assault rifles like the ones used in recent mass shootings.
An Associated Press investigation found sheriff’s offices and police departments across Washington state have sold dozens of AR-15s, AK47s and other assault weapons since 2010.
The Washington State Patrol’s most recent trade of 330 guns to a dealer in Tennessee included five assault weapons.
The AP found more than a dozen of the guns sold by law enforcement ended up in new crimes. While none was an assault rifle, many fear it’s only a matter of time.
Others say selling seized guns provides law enforcement with needed revenue.
Most states allow law enforcement agencies to decide whether to sell, trade or destroy confiscated firearms.