Tulsa Sheriff's Office Raises $22K With Unclaimed Guns Auction

Saturday, January 29th 2011, 2:37 pm
By: News On 6

Dee Duren, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa County Sheriff's Office had a pretty good haul Saturday afternoon. They raised just over $22,000 in about 10 minutes with the sale of unclaimed guns from the property room.

Auctioneer Danny McKnight of Collinsville got the bidding going at 10 a.m.

"There's only 10 lots – 10 rounds of bidding, and it'll be done," Captain Shirley Johnson said shortly before the numbers started flying.

The sale was held Saturday morning at the Sheriff's Office headquarters downtown. Licensed gun dealers were invited to take a chance on 181 handguns and long guns that were confiscated in crimes or turned over to the Sheriff's Office as found or unwanted property.

"State law dictates the whole procedure," Johnson said. If a gun is taken in as recovered stolen property, they use "due diligence" to locate its rightful owner.

The guns featured in Saturday's auction had been in the property rooms since 2003 to 2005. They undergo tests to make sure they're not tainted by biological evidence like blood.

Bidders are limited to licensed dealers because, Johnson said, "We know for sure that they're safe to deal to."

Mark Goodson is a Tulsa gun dealer who owns Gray's Jewelry Gun and Pawn. The business is owned by the former Gray's Jewelry people and still does a lot of business with Native American jewelry and other luxury gems, but Goodson said he checks out the gun auctions to re-supply his stock.

"You never know what you'll find when you show up," he said.

Goodson left without purchasing anything Saturday morning, expressing surprise that each lot went for over $2,000.

"They're getting phenomenal prices for these," another bidder remarked before leaving empty handed.

Auctioneer McKnight, who volunteered his time to help out the law enforcement cause, said he thought the auction had gone well.