CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore visited Parkersburg Thursday, April 13, to present an unclaimed property check worth over $30,000 to the Parkersburg Police Department – proceeds from the Treasurer’s Office’s recent record-breaking unclaimed property firearms auction.
“I’m proud my Office partners with local law enforcement agencies from across the state,” Treasurer Moore said. “This year’s auction raised a record amount of funds that police departments can use to invest in new equipment, facilities and training programs they need to protect our communities.”
Treasurer Moore presented a check worth $30,342.76 to the department during a presentation attended by Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board, Lieutenant Jim Stalnaker, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce, Delegate Scot Heckert and Parkersburg Police Officers.
“It’s a great opportunity to partner with the Treasurer’s Office to be able to turn something negative into a positive,” Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board said. “Through the firearms auction program, we are able to take firearms out of the hands of criminals and turn them into funds to purchase resources we need to keep Parkersburg safe.”
The firearms auction, which occurred March 16 in Charleston, raised a record total of more than $141,000 to benefit the 15 law enforcement agencies that participated in the auction. The auction raises funds by selling outdated, unclaimed or old firearms, ammunition and related accessories in police inventory to qualified bidders.
This year’s event raised a record amount of funds due to having its largest inventory up for bid – approximately 600 firearms lots and 47 accessories and ammunition lots available at the auction.
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(Chapter 36, Article 8A), state and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction.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 are then returned to the submitting agency for use.