By Victoria Kim
7:45 AM PDT, April 13, 2013
A Nevada pawn shop is facing criticism for selling the .38-caliber pistol of ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, who went on a shooting rampage in Southern California earlier this year.
Bargain Pawn in North Las Vegas, has put the gun up for sale in an online auction, hoping to donate proceeds to victims’ families.
But Sgt. Brian Smith, president of the Riverside Police Officers Assn., called the sale “tasteless.” The union is raising funds to benefit the children of Officer Michael Crain, who was shot and killed by Dorner in an ambush.
“We’re not interested in the money,” Smith said. He suggested the right thing to do might be to turn the gun in to local police to have it destroyed.
Four days into the two-week auction, bidders had driven up the price for Astra model 960 revolver to $1,025 as of Saturday morning.
“Appears to have been refinished and exterior is in very nice shape,” reads the posting, accompanied by a surveillance camera image of Dorner and a copy of the sales ticket with his signature. “Appears to be fully functional.”
George Bramlett, the shop’s owner, said he knew the gun would become a collector’s item after his son, who handled the sale, recognized Dorner on the news. He said he decided to auction it off as a community service to benefit those affected by Dorner's actions.
“Our cops are really good to us here in North Las Vegas,” he said Friday in a phone interview.
Another group raising funds for a fallen officer said any money raised by the gun sale is not welcome.
Bramlett said despite some negative reactions he's gotten to the sale, he believed the gun was worth preserving. He noted that it wasn't used in any of Dorner's crimes. He said he would find some way to donate the proceeds, which he estimated could be as much as $25,000.
“It’s a piece of history, even if it’s bad history,” he said.
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times