Small Northern California town will destroy seized firearms instead of selling them

Hot metal flares up at a steel mill
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department melted down about 5,000 weapons at Gerdau Steel Mill in 2014. The town of Rio Dell in Humboldt County will destroy about 200 seized firearms.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Leaders of a small Northern California city have voted to destroy about 200 guns that have accumulated in a police evidence locker rather than sell any of them at auction.

The Rio Dell City Council approved destruction of the firearms in a 3-2 vote this week, the Eureka Times-Standard reported.

“I am good with the idea of guns. I am not good with the idea of the city being in the business of selling guns,” said Mayor Debra Garnes, who voted for the motion.


Destroying the guns will cost the city $2,500.

About half the guns would have been destroyed regardless of the council action because they are rusted, incomplete or illegal to own in California. But selling the other half could have netted the city about $15,000, the Times-Standard said.

The weapons have accumulated since 1994 in the tiny town in Humboldt County.