The City of Austin will stop selling used police guns to the public through gun dealers.
The decision comes in the wake of an investigation by Texas Standard and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, which disclosed that 21 of the 50 largest law enforcement agencies in Texas had sold weapons to the public over the last decade. The investigation identified more than 10,000 weapons sold in that timeframe.
That included firearms sold by the Austin Police Department, which offloaded over 1,100 handguns to Bailey’s House of Guns, a Houston-area gun store. Money from those sales went toward the department’s acquisition of new duty weapons.
The investigative report raised a host of concerns from city officials, chief among them the possibility that former Austin police weapons could slip into the hands of criminals. In a city council session Tuesday, Council Member Alison Alter described her issues with the process.
“The concern that drove this resolution was one that we did not want our police department to be contributing guns out into the community … guns that could then be turned to and be used on our police and on our community,” she said.
While former Austin police guns are released to licensed gun dealers who are required by federal law to run background checks on prospective buyers, the city resolution states the current background check system may not be adequate.