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AP-WA--Law Enforcement-Selling Guns,ADVISORY, WA

January 8, 2018

Editors/News Directors:

Law enforcement officials around the U.S. are split over the longtime practice among police departments of re-selling the guns they confiscate during criminal investigations. Defenders say that it raises money to buy police gear and doesn’t make much difference in the availability of guns. But some police agencies say law enforcement shouldn’t be putting weapons on the street. An Associated Press investigation examined nearly 6,000 guns resold in Washington state and found more than a dozen instances in which the weapons figured in new crime cases. The guns were used to threaten people, seized at gang hangouts, discovered in drug houses, possessed illegally by convicted felons, hidden in a stolen car, and taken from a man who was committed because of erratic behavior.

AP is moving a package of stories that details the investigation’s findings:


SEATTLE - Kyle Juhl made one last attempt to patch things up with his fiancee, then took his ring back, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger as she and her mother ran from the apartment. The bullet went through a wall and narrowly missed a neighbor’s head as she bent to pick up her little boy. The Smith & Wesson 9 mm that Juhl used to kill himself in Yakima in 2014 was familiar to law enforcement: The Washington State Patrol had seized it years earlier while investigating a crime and then arranged its sale back to the public. It eventually fell into Juhl’s hands, illegally. Juhl’s gun was among nearly 6,000 firearms that were used in crimes and then sold by Washington law enforcement agencies since 2010, an Associated Press review found. More than a dozen of those weapons later turned up in new crime investigations inside the state, according to a yearlong AP analysis that used hundreds of public records to match up serial numbers. By Martha Bellisle.

Eds: A 1,200 word national story and an Extended version for state lines is moving.



YAKIMA, Wash. - After a 24-year-old Army veteran shot himself in the head in 2014 with a gun previously confiscated by the Washington State Patrol, his mother told a police detective her son had spent time in a military prison, so he wasn’t supposed to have a weapon. Detective Kasey Hampton searched Kyle Juhl’s name in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but only a DUI came up. Problems with the transfer of and law enforcement access to military criminal records in FBI databases drew attention after the mass shooting at a Texas church in November. The shooter had been court-martialed on domestic violence charges, but the Air Force didn’t share that information with the FBI, so he was able to purchase a firearm. By Martha Bellisle. 900 words. AP Photos.

LAW ENFROCEMENT-SELLING GUNS-GLANCE: Guns sold by police end up with drug dealers, in gang house. A detailed list about guns sold by law enforcement that were later picked up at crime scenes. (Both a national and extended state wire glance are moving.)

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