The Police Department wants to sell off its old guns to buy more effective weapons, but some city officials are worried that will put more guns on the streets.
The department is seeking City Council permission to sell 8,482 handguns and shotguns for $50 to $120 each and 1,500 holsters for $5 each.The council decided Wednesday to delay a vote on the proposal for at least a week to allow more study. Police officials said the plan could raise nearly $650,000 over the next two years.
The money would be used to buy 9mm guns that carry more cartridges and are easier and quicker to load, police officials said.
"The technology of the revolver is 19th century," Executive Deputy Chief James Bannon said Tuesday. "Personally, I feel more comfortable with a state-of-the-art weapon."
Some council members were hesitant about the sale.
"I feel it's irresponsible to sell new and used weapons this way," council President Maryann Mahaffey said. "If we can't get guarantees that they will be sold only to other law enforcement agencies, I'd rather melt them down."
The department wants to sell the equipment to Detroit-based CMP Distributors, whose salesman said the company is "strictly wholesale."
Once guns are sold to dealers, the company does not know where they go, said CMP Manager Sena Loseth.
There were 624 slayings in Detroit in 1989, giving it the second-highest homicide rate per capita of any U.S. city, according to the FBI.