Center Line plans to sell guns via auction - FOX 13 News

Center Line plans to sell guns via auction

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Source: www.centerline.gov Source: www.centerline.gov

CENTER LINE, Mich. (AP) -- A Detroit suburb and its police department plan to sell more than five dozen firearms to the public via online auction, raising questions about whether that's the best way to dispose of the weapons.

Center Line long has conducted public auctions of used office equipment, government vehicles, bicycles and other forfeited or unclaimed property, but left pistols, rifles and shotguns in storage, The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reports.

Under a plan approved by City Council with auction business Repocast.com, Center Line's public safety department plans to sell the weapons. About 40 handguns and 26 long guns have accumulated for at least 10 years, including some formerly used by public safety officers.

Councilman Ronald Lapham, a retired police officer, said he disagrees with the planned sale.

"I don't feel like this is the right way to get rid of guns. I don't think I could ever forgive myself if we sold a gun to somebody and the person killed somebody," said Lapham, who worked in the public safety department from 1968-78 and later at the Macomb County sheriff's department.

Four City Council members backed the agreement, including a retired deputy director of public safety for the 8,200-resident city. The city's current Public Safety Director Paul Myszenski said the plans are proper and the city is expected to earn money from the sales.

"This is going to be a win right out of the gate," Myszenski said. "If there was any chance of anything that didn't appear right at all in the least bit, we wouldn't even dream of doing this."

Center Line officials said previous annual auctions at City Hall made little or no profit once the cost of city employee wages, sometimes at overtime rates, to prepare and conduct the auctions were included. The agreement for the online sale has little cost for the city.

Repocast is part of Byron Center-based Miedema Asset Management Group.

The sale of firearms is handled through a sister business SSL Corporate, which holds a federal firearms license, said Andrew Hill, account executive at Repocast. That entity was established two years ago in response to "very strong demand" for used firearms, he said.

Other items being sold by Center Line include computer equipment, two dispatch center consoles, a golf cart and two former police vehicles.

The auction business plans to charge $2.50 for each group of items, such as phones, as well as advertising costs. Repocast will get a commission of 8 percent for any lot that sells for more than $1,000 and 15 percent for items with a winning bid of less than $1,000.

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