Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 9, 2012

Confiscated guns to be sold at auction

CROSSVILLE — County commissioners serving on the budget committee approved a motion to allow the Cumberland County Sheriff to sell guns that have been confiscated by the sheriff's department at an upcoming auction during the county's gun and knife show.

Mike Harvel, 7th District county commissioner, brought the subject up during last week's budget committee meeting.

"I was talking with the sheriff and with Donnie (Moody) and they'd like to get this auction set up during the county's gun show down there at the complex," Harvel said.

Donny Moody manages the Cumberland County Community Complex.

"The sheriff has a lot of guns he could sell that has been confiscated over the years. If he sells those the money goes into the county general fund and then we could give it back to Butch (Burgess, Cumberland County sheriff) to use in his department," Harvel said.

Harvel then explained that if the guns are not sold, according to the law, Sheriff Burgess could legally swap or trade the guns.

"I don't know how the law reads exactly, but if he swaps the guns out, we could be losing a lot of money on this," Harvel said.

"Are these guns that's been confiscated, or are they guns that's been taken from someone and they haven't picked them back up?" 3rd District Commissioner Johnny Presley asked.

"No, they're guns that were confiscated that were used in breaking the law, I guess," Harvel said.

"There's something that doesn't sound right about this. Why wouldn't we just let him swap them out?" Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner said.

"We'd be saving the county money going through the general fund," Harvel said. "I'm telling you, we'd be losing out big time if we don't do this sale."

Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock said he wasn't familiar with the law or how it was written and suggested the committee have county attorney Randal Boston review the law before conducting the sale.

"I was going to say the same thing. It sounds like a good idea, but I'd like to get the opinion of our attorney," said Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner and budget committee chairman.

Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner, then moved to allow the confiscated guns go to auction and the funds go to the sheriff, providing it was OK'd by the county attorney.

Harvel supported the motion and it was approved. Seiber voted against the motion.

Harvel then reported back to the committee during Tuesday's meeting that county attorney Randal Boston said it was the law and would be OK to sell the guns at auction.

The Cumberland County Gun and Knife Show will be at the Cumberland County Community Complex Aug. 2-3.

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