Officials in Honolulu, Hawaii are facing criticism from Second Amendment advocates after destroying $575,000 worth of firearms. One critic went as far as calling the decision to destroy the guns the “height of anti-gun stupidity.”
About 2,300 Smith & Wesson 9 mm handguns, which included 200 brand new guns that were unopened, were issued to the Honolulu Police Department. At the time the guns were issued, the department was upgrading to lighter and less expensive Glock 17s, which is why they decided to destroy the weapons.
In situations like these, departments usually auction off the weapons to citizens and law enforcement officers, or donate them to other departments in need of them. But in this instance, the department decided to destroy them.
In an interview with Fox News, Honolulu Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said, “Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu Police Department agreed that they would not allow the guns to be sold to the general public and end up on the streets of Honolulu.” She also added that “The same goes for selling the individual gun parts that could have been used to assemble a gun.”
If the city of Honolulu had sold the guns, it would have generated $575,000, according to Hawaii News Now.
Several police officers reportedly were interested in buying some of the old service weapons for personal use. In the past, the department had sold phased-out weapons to its staff. This time around, however, they decided to melt the weapons.
According to Yu, no other police departments were interested in the guns.
“Law enforcement in American Samoa initially expressed interest in acquiring some of the guns, but there was a change in administration and the new administration is no longer interested,” she said. “The local sheriff’s department recently replaced their guns, and other county police departments (Kauai, Maui and Hawaii) are looking to replace their Smith & Wessons in the future.”
Despite Yu’s claim that no other departments wanted the guns, the Hawaii state sheriffs division told Hawaii News Now that no one offered to donate the guns to them.
Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety recently replaced its Smith & Wesson firearms and received a credit of more than $150,000 for trading in its old guns. According to Yu, the Honolulu Police Department wasn’t offered a trade-in discount, and she said, “The only remaining option was to destroy the guns so they don’t end up on the street.”