FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Every year police departments across the nation confiscate about a million firearms.
Some will become key pieces of evidence. The rest are either eventually stored, destroyed or sold.
How departments make the choice is often dictated by state law.
The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department has destroyed weapons for decades.
“We are taking guns off the street for a reason,” Captain Christopher Sicoli said. “If it’s been used in a crime or someone doesn’t want it anymore. We are going to destroy it.”
KCPD won’t publicly reveal where and how guns are destroyed for security reasons.
Nationwide, many departments turn to a Missouri company called Gunbusters where they crush and pulverize weapons.
But, police departments in almost a dozens states sell guns back through licensed gun dealers. They have no choice because it’s mandated by state law. That has been the case for Kansas police departments since 2014.
The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department declined to do an interview about selling confiscated weapons. They provided this information about the recent year’s sales.
Police gun sales have sparked controversy across the nation as people debate gun control. Gun advocates take the position that the weapons are a commodity and legally selling them makes more sense than simply destroying them. It can be a way to generate funds for police departments.
KCKPD reports the raised more than $128,000 in 2018.
One department that changed their position on gun sales is Duluth, Minnesota.
Neighboring New Hope, Minnesota, had a disgruntled resident storm a city council meeting with weapons he illegally purchased through a friend -- a straw purchase.
When police traced the weapons, they traced back to an online auction where the Duluth Minnesota Police Department auctioning off seized weapons through a licensed gun dealer.
Duluth immediately suspended sales. KCTV5 News checked in with the department. A spokesperson said they now destroy guns.