Firearms seized by police from Vermonters are being sold by the State of Vermont, pursuant to a 2018 law.
"Until 2018, the Department of Public Safety was charged with storing seized and abandoned firearms, and the state treasurer was responsible for their disposal. But according to Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), no treasurer in recent memory had embraced the task. "So all those guns for years and years and years accumulated," said Sears, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In January 2018, Sears introduced legislation to address the backlog and allow the Department of Buildings and General Services to sell the weapons to federally licensed firearm dealers. Those dealers would have to complete criminal background checks on any potential retail buyers.
According to Sears, his committee never seriously contemplated destroying the guns, rather than putting them back in circulation. "At the time, we were just trying to solve a storage problem," he said."
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