BERLIN – The Berlin Police Department (BPD) had 14 handguns declared “surplus” at Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting.
In addition, a request to return the revenue from the sale of the firearms to the BPD was made to the council with the issue to come up again when department budgets are next discussed.
A list of 14 surplus guns was presented to the council, all between six and seven years old. Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing confirmed that those guns were all nearing the end of their acceptable lifetimes.
“We replace the guns every five to seven years,” he said. “After that amount of time, with the number of rounds fired they can start to develop issues. We don’t want to wait for issues.”
When asked what would happen to the surplus weapons, Downing explained the BPD’s options.
“Surplus guns can only be sold to retired officers, the officers that used them, or back to the manufacturer,” he said. “The rules have been restricted since 2004.”
Instead of dealing with the cost and hassle of sending the guns back to Glock, the company that produced them, the BPD has elected to keep the guns.
“All 14 will be sold back to officers,” said Downing. “I’ll be buying mine back.”
The council then asked Downing how much money the sale would generate.
“It will bring in $250 to each officer,” he stated, citing the amount as the price Glock would offer for each gun, thus how much each would cost to be purchased as surplus.
Downing then made a request to have the $3,500 generated by the sale of the firearms sent back to the BPD.
The request created some confusion, as it had not been part of the original motion. After a few minutes of discussion, an amendment to the motion was proposed and nearly approved. However, Finance Director Lynn Musgrave informed the council that money brought in by the sale would not be able to go directly to the BPD.
“The $3,500 it [the sale] brings in will be restricted,” said Musgrave.
In the end, the original motion simply to declare the firearms surplus was approved with the council electing to officially return the $3,500 to the BPD when department budgets came up.
When Downing was asked by the council if the motion was satisfactory, Town Attorney Dave Gaskill spoke up for him.
“I think Arn is worried about you forgetting about his money,” joked Gaskill.