Illinois Watchdog has a story of Coles County Sheriff Darrell Cox of selling or trading confiscated firearms to federally licensed gun dealers, asking if he has the authority to do so.
It’s been picked up by FoxNews, Daily Caller and others.
IL sheriff seizes, sells guns. But does he have the authority?
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IllinoisWatchdog.org) — Dozens of guns taken from crime scenes and accused criminals in Coles County have been sold or traded.
That much is clear.
ISN’T TALKING: Sheriff Darrell Cox won’t answer questions about seized guns, says it’s political.
But ask whether the sheriff had the power to make those deals, and things get murky.
A joint investigation by Illinois Watchdog and the Edgar County Watchdogs looked into the sale or trade of weapons seized by Coles County Sheriff Darrell Cox.
But Cox wouldn’t answer our questions.
Illinois Watchdog repeatedly reached out to Cox, who made it clear he would not comment on his department’s seizure policy, because he thinks the issue is political.
Cox is running for state representative in the 110th District.
Well, under Common Law, the county sheriff is the highest elected official in a county.
Illinois Watchdog.org writes in their story: “MAYBE BACK ON THE STREET: Guns seized in Coles County can end-up back on the streets.”
It would seem that if the sheriff wants to raise some money for the department by selling confiscated guns to a federally licensed dealer, then he’s doing nothing wrong, so long as the guns cannot be returned to their legitimate owners.
Doing this in a time of tight budgets to bring in extra money for needed supplies or equipment for the department seems like the common sense thing to do. Who are we to find fault in that – unless the sheriff or individual officers are keeping the guns they’ve confiscated and then we would say there’s a conflict of interest.
It sounds as though the sheriff should be lauded for a good deed, instead of castigated.
Sending perfectly valuable property to a foundry or a grinder to make gun haters in our state “feel” better makes no sense. In fact, in essence it is like shredding perfectly good cents.
But common sense never has been a long suit of the gun haters.
In this case, the Illinois Watchdog seems to be barking up the wrong tree.