Williston Police Department Holds First Gun Auction

The sales generated more than $55,000.

Hundreds of people attended the Williston Police Department's first gun auction.
In total, 149 guns forfeited to the department through criminal investigations were up for bid.
 
"I used to have a federal firearms license and I used to have a side gun business. If I do stay here, I'm going to do it again and that's why I came here. To get an education," says Gary Silva, an auction attendee. 
 
Some of the oldest guns for sale had been in the department's custody since the 1990s. 
 
"We are now kind of running out of space for those guns and it's time to get rid of those firearms," says WPD Sergeant Detective Jacob Gregory.
 
North Dakota is one of at least 11 states that have enacted laws either allowing or requiring police departments to sell forfeited guns at auction. 
 
"We're going to follow the law. And that's what the law is asking us to do," says Gregory. 
 
On-site background checks were conducted for those with winning bids. 
 
"Criminal history is the main thing. Whether you're under indictment for something, a restraining order. If you have a restraining order against you, they'll deny you," says Shane Anderson, manager with Scenic Sports, the business which facilitated the background checks. 
 
In total, more than $55,000 was generated from the gun sales. The money will go towards the city of Williston's general fund, which is used to cover operational costs for city departments.
 
"Auctions are always surprising. Some people are willing to pay above new prices at these kind of things. Sometimes you can get some really good deal," says Gregory. 
 
Silva was happy with the deal he found. 
 
"A Smith & Wesson 40 caliber semiautomatic handgun. This is specifically what I was looking for. Something that looked good in my hand. Had plenty of firepower," says Silva. 
 
And since Silva came $75 under budget, he plans to have a nice dinner tonight with the money he saved.
 

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