Members of the Caryville Police Department confiscated other people’s guns and tried to trade them before getting the proper permission.
There’s other things they did with those firearms they weren’t legally allowed to do.
Tennessee law, for instance, says they can only hold onto those guns for 180 days, but they’d kept some of them a lot longer than that — since the time Lyndon Johnson was president.
These were among the findings of a Tennessee Comptrollers’ Report released Friday.
No one at the Caryville Police Department was available to speak Sunday.
Tennessee law gives law enforcement officials the power to exchange firearms they have in their possession.
The police chief, according to the audit, took 50 confiscated weapons to a local gun shop owner for an appraisal and trade offer.
“The chief told investigators that he left these weapons at the gun shop and intended to return with the court order authorizing the exchange, believing that approval would occur on the following day. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the court order approval was delayed,” according to the Comptrollers’ report.
“Shortly after the guns were delivered to the gun shop, the chief acquired a handgun and ammunition from the gun shop with the understanding that these items would be credited against the exchange value of the confiscated weapons. Additionally, while the chief awaited the court order authorizing the weapons to be exchanged, the gun shop owner sold 30 of the weapons.”
Members of the district attorney general’s office later requested a town employee take the unsold weapons back from the gun shop.
“In fact, four weapons had been in the police department’s possession since 1968,” according to the audit.
Auditors also called out town officials for not keeping minutes of budget meetings or any other agreements they made allowing the police chief to exchange those weapons.
“Town officials indicated that they have corrected or intend to correct these deficiencies,” according to the audit.
Law enforcement officers in Tennessee confiscated exactly 10,131 firearms during crime investigations in Tennessee in 2016, according to WKRN. The station cited federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives data.
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