By Davis Brister
Armed and ready. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has 212 guns at its disposal and not one rightful owner.
Jim Walker, of the MDWFP, says, "These guns were taken from hands of the bad guys. We hope to put them in the hands of the good guys."
They were taken from violators of hunting laws or convicted felons in possession.
Walker says, "These guns have gone to the courts. These individuals have been found guilty and these guns now belong to the state of Mississippi."
They're not your run of the mill firearms.
Phillip Pope is the training co-ordinater for the MDWFP. He says, "Most of them that we have are hunting type rifles or shotguns."
Soon they hope to be in the hands of someone in need of a good gun.
Walker says, "You have to have a federal firearms license to purchase these guns."
They will be auctioned off in October to anyone who has that license. Half the money will go to the state and half to the agency.
Pope says, "The guns will be sold as is. It'll be sold as a package deal."
Walker says, "The possible return could be substantial. Depends on who shows up."
Wildlife officials say some guns could get up to 500 dollars. Some look brand new. The result is quite a bargain.
Pope says, "Some of this money goes back and kinda let the violator pay for some of the stuff that our law enforcement officers need, instead of letting the taxpayers pay for it." A welcome relief for one of many agencies hunting for cash through these lean budget years.
The guns will be auctioned October sixth by Durham Auctions in Forrest County. If you'd like more information, call them at 601-582-1932 or go to http://www.durhamauctions.com