Confiscated weapons destroyed by Selma Police
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003
After much adjustment and fumbling with the noisy welding machine, the barrel of the .22 caliber handgun finally breaks apart and skids across the cement floor.
James Edwards, evidence technician for the Selma police department, reaches into his cart and selects the next gun to be destroyed.
He then checks the gun off his long list before handing it over to be sliced in two by a powerful saw.
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Most of the guns in Edwards possession on Wednesday, nearly a 100 of them, were taken off the streets by Selma police officers during arrests or found on the scene of a crime.
They were placed in storage with the police department’s evidence department, where the guns were then kept for years.
Police chief Robert Green said that through the cooperation of the district attorney’s office and county judges, his department now has permission to rid itself of at least a portion of the weapons in the evidence room.
After two years of waiting for cases to wind their way through the court system, around 74 of the guns collected from crimes dating back a decade ago were destroyed and given away as scrap medal.
There was even a simple BB gun sitting among the doomed pile.
Edwards said the guns had been used in everything from robberies and drug rings to just being found concealed in a vehicle.
While the evidence technician has now managed to clear out a little extra space in his storage room, there are still plenty more guns waiting to be disposed of.
It will likely take several more years for all of those guns to one day meet the same fate as those that were cut apart yesterday.