Politics drive up prices at Kentucky State Police confiscated gun auction

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WHAS11.com

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 11 at 7:42 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Concerns over new proposed handgun restrictions are driving up gun sales in Kentucky.

In fact, even though Kentucky ranks 26th in population, it is the nation's number one state in conducting national background checks.

Registered firearms dealers recently packed into a Frankfort warehouse, trying to get a good deal on more than 500 used guns. 

The dealers came from far and wide, including Ohio, Tennessee and even Florida.

“We have one about every other month,” Kentucky State Police Lt. Marshall Johnson said. ”They were seized in some form or fashion by law enforcement agencies across the state.”

In other states, guns involved in crimes are destroyed.

Law enforcement agencies are also buyers of firearms from the public.

“The whole idea is to take these weapons out of circulation. We're not gonna trade them or do anything like that. We want the weapons destroyed,” New Albany Police Maj. Keith Whitlow said, after a recent gun buy-back.

Not so in Kentucky, where the state legislature passed a law requiring state police to auction confiscated guns.

Proceeds are then placed in a statewide fund to benefit law enforcement agencies.

“Those funds are used to purchase vests, vests being body armor, weapons, .things of that nature,” Lt. Johnson said.

“There's no sense in destroying them. If they're a perfectly good gun, why destroy them?” Bob Risch, who is a Kentucky gun store owner said.

Some regular attendees told us there were more people at the most recent auction buying guns and they paid higher prices than they did just a few months ago.

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