New law would give WSP power to destroy confiscated guns

TACOMA, Wash. — A bill moving forward in Olympia would give the Washington State Patrol the power to destroy confiscated guns.

House Bill 1483 is now in the House Rules Committee.

It will give the Washington State Patrol the power to not only trade or sell firearms taken during searches and arrests, the agency will also be able to destroy them.

Under the current law, the State Patrol can only keep 10 percent of confiscated weapons.

KIRO 7 sat down with WSP Captain Monica Alexander, who said the goal is to avoid guns from returning to criminals.

“We are not concerned about responsible people that have weapons,” said Alexander. "We are concerned about people who had them when we took it from them.”

Alexander said WSP supports this bill even though there is no history of their confiscated guns going into the wrong hands.

She also said money made during weapons exchanges is not worth potential threats to public safety.

We asked for numbers.

She said during the last weapons exchange in 2014, the agency traded 251 seized weapons for 127 new 40-caliber pistols.

The trade was worth $49,377.

KIRO 7 reached out to Republican Representative Dick Muri representing Steilacoom. He opposes the bill.

“To have an attitude that 49,377 dollars a year is not important is just wrong,” said Muri.

He went on to say confiscated guns have value when sold back legally and destroying them won’t put a dent on crime.

“If you destroy these weapons, the manufacturers will have to produce more,” said Muri.