published Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Gun sale goes with a bang in Etowah

Sgt. Tim Carver, left, and Sgt. Greg Earps sort guns for the auction.
Sgt. Tim Carver, left, and Sgt. Greg Earps sort guns for the auction.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Have you ever attended a gun auction?

ETOWAH, Tenn. — It was a different kind of gunfight in Etowah on Saturday as about 400 people held up cards in a bidding war to buy firearms from the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office property room.

The law enforcement agency pulled 445 firearms dating back to the 1970s from its evidence room, Sheriff Joe Guy said as he stood before the crowd at Bid To Buy Auction.

Guy held up rifles and handguns, pulling back the slides for potential buyers to see as auctioneers rattled off escalating numbers.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility to make them available for sale,” Guy said. “We take them from lawbreakers and make them available for law-abiding citizens. ... A well-armed, law-abiding populace makes my job easier.”

State lawmakers two years ago passed a law prohibiting law enforcement agencies from destroying guns confiscated from crimes.

Everything from antique rifles engraved with swastikas to sleek .40-caliber handguns were up for sale.

“We’ve got something for everybody,” Guy said. “There’s things for collectors, gun enthusiasts and things for home protection.”

For complete story, see Sunday’s Times Free Press.

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