CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced his Office raised nearly $110,000 for several state and local law enforcement agencies during an unclaimed property firearms auction conducted Thursday, March 24, in Charleston.
The event raised $109,800 to benefit the 19 law enforcement agencies that participated in the auction, which raises funds by selling outdated, unclaimed or old firearms, ammunition and related accessories in police inventory to qualified bidders.
“We’re thrilled to partner with law enforcement agencies around the state to help them take old or unused firearms sitting in their storage rooms and turn them into funds that can be used to train, protect and equip their officers,” Treasurer Moore said. “While other people talk about defunding police, we’re helping to fund them.”
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(Chapter 36, Article 8A), state and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction.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.
This year’s auction featured the largest number of participating law enforcement agencies with 19 submitting inventory.
There were 83 federally licensed firearms dealers attending to bid on the 436 firearms lots and 83 ammunition and accessories lots available for sale. To participate, bidders must be a valid, licensed federal firearms dealer – the event is not open to the general public.
The participating law enforcement agencies included:
- West Virginia State Police (multiple detachments)
- West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police (multiple detachments)
- Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office
- Bridgeport Police Department
- Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office
- Marion County Sheriff’s Office
- Mason County Sheriff’s Office
- Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office
- Montgomery Police Department
- Moundsville Police Department
- Mountain Region Task Force
- New Martinsville Police Department
- Nitro Police Department
- Princeton Police Department
- South Charleston Police Department
- Wirt County Sheriff’s Office
- Weston Police Department
- Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office
- Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office