Sheriff’s gun auction nets more than $125K

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office gun auction Saturday generated more than $125,000 in profit, according to Sheriff’s Office Major Lafayette Woods Jr.

Woods said the sheriff’s office will collect $73,210, while the Tri-County Drug Task Force will receive $55,545 from the sale, which was sponsored by the two agencies and by the South Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Society Gun Club.

In a press release, Woods said the $125,755 net profit from the sale broke the previous record for a gun sale conducted by the two agencies. The last public sale was in 2005 and netted $15,957, with the sheriff’s office receiving $12,632 and the drug task force getting $3,325.

More than 700 rifles, pistols and shotguns that had been seized by law enforcement agencies and held as evidence in criminal cases until they were forfeited to the county were sold at public auction Saturday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Prospective buyers were first cleared through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by a licensed federal firearms dealer the sheriff’s office brought in, and Woods said 204 background checks were processed through the system, which is used by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

There were 380 registered bidders Saturday. One person was denied approval while six others had their applications delayed for three days.

According to the news release, the highest bid Saturday was $2,375 for a Winchester .38-caliber WCF LA Rifle, while the lowest bid was $5 for a Marksman BB Pistol.

“We promote responsible ownership of guns and firearms, which is also why we made gunlock safety kits available to every successful bidder at no charge through Project ChildSafe to help ensure safe and responsible firearm ownership and operations,” Woods said in the press release.

All of the money collected will go into the general fund of Jefferson County and Woods said Saturday that sheriff’s office officials are hopeful the quorum court will turn that money back over to the sheriff’s office to continue construction on the new sheriff’s office building next to the adult detention center.