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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Cops get to chopping on guns

    Weapons destroyed when they can't be returned to owners

    By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

    July 14 2007 10:44 PM
    CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson
    Capt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department makes a second cut through a rifle Friday afternoon at the police department. The guns are destroyed to keep them off the streets, Whitney said.

    CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson
    Wendell Blair, Clovis police evidence technician, places a handgun in the vice of a cut-off saw Friday afternoon at the police department. About 40 guns were destroyed.

    CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson
    Pieces of around 40 firearms chopped at the police department Friday were thrown into a cardboard box to be disposed of.

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    '); } A sawed-off shotgun, a pearl-handled pistol, a rifle complete with leather shoulder strap one by one they were clamped into a vice and a circular metal blade ended their usefulness.

    For more than an hour, parts of guns taken off Clovis streets were tossed into a box outside the evidence room at the Clovis Police Department.

    Capt. Patrick Whitney and Evidence Technician Wendell Blair destroyed more than 40 firearms Friday.

    Guns are sent to the chopping block for several reasons, Whitney said. Most have been taken from individuals prohibited from owning firearms. In some instances an owner cannot be located and in others the firearms have been modified illegally for concealment and must be destroyed.

    A background check is done before firearms are returned to citizens. Its a modern twist, Blair said, explaining in days gone by, guns were often returned to the person they were taken from when a case was over.

    The department moved away from that practice after examining the liability of returning the weapons, he said.

    Ideally, Blair said the department would rather return an item to its rightful owner, so every effort is made to find owners before destroying something, but he admitted often there are no other options.

    Were not cold. We take a look at things and we try to do what we can, Blair said.

    If (the person) is prohibited from owning a firearm, (the gun) goes in that pile right there.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Same happens here with illegal firearms except here the barrel is put in a vice and twisted into a u shape.