The Springfield Police Division will purchase 37 shotguns for its officers — without using a cent of taxpayer money.
Instead the division will trade in 301 guns it has confiscated from criminals this year and four police-owned guns to a Columbus dealer to cover the costs.
“People should care because we are saving taxpayer’s money,” Springfield Police Capt. Michael Varner said.
Vance’s Law Enforcement of Columbus won the contract and will pay the city more than $22,000 for the used weapons. In exchange, the city will buy 37 guns that will cost nearly $21,000, leaving it a credit of about $1,200 for future purchases.
Police are buying 30 shotguns to replace older guns in officer’s cruisers. Every police cruiser has a shotgun attached to the ceiling of the car at all times.
“You never know what you’ll run into and sometimes we come across something a pistol just isn’t going to handle,” Varner said.
The other seven shotguns are for the Special Operations Team. The team is getting one breaching shotgun to blast open locked doors, two “less than lethal” shotguns and four others, according to Varner.
The 305 guns the police division will trade in to Vance’s haven’t been used in any homicides, according to Varner.
Vance’s Law Enforcement’s owner Doug Vance said he will take and sell the 305 guns he is getting in his Columbus and Hebron locations.
The guns in good condition will go for about 75 percent of what they would cost new, he said.
The owner of Springfield Pawn and Loan, 2731 E. Main St., said buying used guns is a good option, because most weapons bought for home protection are rarely used.
Vance will take the guns that are broken or not working and sell the working parts.
Anyone buying one of these guns will have to go through the standard Bureau of Criminal Investigation background check.
“Agencies want to make sure when they trade firearms they don’t get back in the criminal element, and we don’t want that either,” Vance said.
*Editor's note: The article has been modified to reflect the correct pawn shop.
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