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Police department sells confiscated guns, hopes to update arsenal

Assault rifles and pistols among the lot
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer Assault rifles and pistols among the lot
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Nearly 50 firearms confiscated or turned over to the Auburn Police Department were officially sold to the highest bidder Tuesday for $8,811. Auburn Police Chief John Ruffcorn said proceeds from the sale approved by the Auburn City Council will be used for firearm maintenance, repairs, replacement and less than lethal weapons systems, including TASERs. ?There are a lot of various different reasons on how we come across these guns. Once the cases are adjudicated and the court has given us the ability to destroy them California penal code gives us the ability to destroy them or sell them or trade them for the benefit of the agency, the city,? Ruffcorn said. Some of the guns are turned in by people who no longer want them, while others turn them in based on court orders, he added. Among the batch were rifles, pistols and assault rifles. The highest bidder was federal firearms licensed dealer Gun Parts Sales of Reno, Nev. Ruffcorn said a couple of the guns sold stood out to him. ?Some of my employees were a lot more impressed. I?m not a firearms enthusiast. There was a two-shot derringer gun. I find that pretty interesting,? Ruffcorn said. ?One of the guns is a Sig Saur which is the same model we use here at the police department.? Ruffcorn said the year-long process to research the guns, ensure they are authorized for sale and carry out the sale will be worth it for the fruit of the department?s labor. He is hoping to replace the current model officers use with the proceeds. With the difficult economic times, Ruffcorn said the department hasn?t been able to replace its firearms or TASERs. ?We are actually looking at a newer Glock weapon,? Ruffcorn said. ?It?s cheaper, newer and just as accurate.? The Glock, which would cost about $700 per gun through a wholesaler, would also be easier for women and smaller male officers to hold, he added. Ruffcorn said that would be a benefit because he hopes to diversify the staff further by bringing a woman police officer on board. Dan Cartwright, owner of TDS Guns in Rocklin, said while he hasn?t participated in a gun sale through a law enforcement agency, his distributers refurbish the inner parts of police firearms, which he is then able to resell to consumers. When the opportunity arises, Cartwright said people can expect to save about $100 when they purchase refurbished police guns. ?It?s such a good deal, it?s not predictable. They are a product of opportunity,? Cartwright said. ?The externals of the gun are not refurbished. They will show signs of holster wear.? Later, many former police and military firearms become collectables, but most remain functional. ?I am wearing a gun on my hip right now that was designed in 1905,? Cartwright said. ?You wouldn?t drive a car from the early1900s, but I would still feel very comfortable using these guns.? Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.