New Castle Town Council directs police department to sell confiscated firearms | PostIndependent.com

New Castle Town Council directs police department to sell confiscated firearms

Proceeds to go back into town’s general fund

In this file photo New Castle Police Chief Tony Pagni pulls open one of the evidence lockers in the new police headquarters.
Ryan Hoffman / Citizen Telegram |

The New Castle Police Department has roughly 20 guns that it would like to get off of its hands.

According to New Castle Chief of Police Tony Pagni, the police department has accumulated the firearms over the years as a result of several different scenarios.

“Prohibited use of weapons, hunting within city limits and so forth,” Pagni said at a recent New Castle Town Council meeting. “We’ve got a bunch of pistols. We’ve got a bunch of rifles and a bunch of shotguns that we can sell.”

In some cases, residents turned guns over to the police department for safekeeping and then never took them back, Pagni said.

Seeking direction from the town council, Pagni wanted to know whether the police department should pursue selling the guns via a third party, federally licensed dealer, or simply have the weapons demolished altogether.

Pagni estimated the entire arsenal of guns as being worth between $10,000 and $15,000.

“I can exploit avenues to dispose of these guns that make it a win-win for our town,” Pagni said. “Meaning that they go back into society to people that have passed the background check and they’re legally able to own, harbor and possess those guns.”

Council directed Pagni to pursue selling the weapons through a federally licensed dealer.

“The police department does not make assets off of that,” Pagni said.

Instead, sale proceeds will go into the town’s general fund.

Additionally, when Mayor Art Riddile asked Pagni if there was any precedent surrounding the issue, the chief of police replied, “tons.”

“I can tell you four municipalities around here sell them,” Pagni said. “Four municipalities [demolish] them.”

According to Pagni, one gun that was either confiscated by or given to the New Castle Police for safekeeping has been with the department since 1963.

“It’s a commodity just sitting there,” Pagni said. “We don’t need to keep that stuff.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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