February 23, 2010, 08:22 PM
The Tennessee Senate just passed HB2376 requiring confiscated firearms to be auctioned to FFLs. Right now it's voluntary for them to be auctioned and if not they're destroyed. Emails to the governor can help encourage him to sign this bill which will help offset tax losses in this economy and ensure that firearms are not melted down. Email him at Phil.Bredesen@tn.gov.
Dear Governor Bredesen,
The Tennessee Senate just unanimously passed House Bill 2376. This bill would prohibit the destruction of confiscated firearms and require them to be auctioned off or sold to a federally licensed firearms dealer and the proceeds from the sale of these firearms would be used for to help fund financially strapped Tennessee law enforcement agencies.
Please sign HP2376 into law and help avoid the need for additional taxes to support Tennessee law enforcement agencies or cuts in service provided by them.
February 23, 2010, 10:03 PM
That's good because currently MNPD destroys all confiscated weapons. Most of them actually do better service as man hole covers than firearms. But there are occasional keepers there. I am told they are taken to the police academy and officers can sign them out as backups. What a waste.
February 23, 2010, 11:34 PM
February 24, 2010, 12:10 AM
Just curious..... Where exactly does all of the money go (e.g. general fund, or police budget), and does "confiscated" include civil forfeiture?
February 24, 2010, 08:49 AM
There's no civil forfeiture in TN because we put a "Katrina" law on the books.
"Confiscated" means "evidence" room firearms not returned to the owner.
February 24, 2010, 01:13 PM
I did some digging...
According to § 39-17-1317 Confiscation and disposition:(a) Any weapon, except those covered by subsection (h), that is possessed, used or sold in violation of the law shall be confiscated by a law enforcement officer and declared to be contraband by a court of record exercising criminal jurisdiction. The sheriff or chief of police for the jurisdiction where the weapon was confiscated may petition the court for permission to dispose of the weapon in accordance with this section. If the weapon was confiscated by the department of safety, the commissioner of safety may petition the court for disposal of the weapon in accordance with this section. If the weapon was confiscated by the Tennessee bureau of investigation, the director may petition the court for disposal of the weapon in accordance with this section.
Tennessee Dept of Safety (dunno about the TBI) can seize and keep your property if they suspect you used it in the commission of certain crimes, and they can do so even if you're never convicted a crime (Sammy Hargrove v. State of Tennessee, Dept. of Safety).
That's what I meant by civil forfeiture. I believe most (if not all) states have this kind of law on the books.
I'm no lawyer, I'm not in Tennessee, and I don't know whether this pending legislation is bad or not. My initial curiosity was whether or not this pending legislation would increase the incentive for the state to seize property even in the absence of a criminal conviction.
February 24, 2010, 01:44 PM