San Mateo County officials reject plan for law enforcement to sell guns

Tony Avelar / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty ImagesPassengers exits a Caltrain commuter train during the morning commute

Tony Avelar / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty ImagesPassengers exits a Caltrain commuter train during the morning commute

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors rejected part of a proposed ordinance amendment Tuesday that would have allowed the sheriff's office to sell more than 700 guns.

Supervisor Don Horsley, who served as San Mateo County sheriff for nearly 14 years, said the original intent of the ordinance amendment was to allow sworn officers of the sheriff's department to buy their assigned service weapons once they become outdated and are replaced by newer models.

“When you're a peace officer and you carry a gun, it becomes a part of you,” Horsley said.

During the coming year, the Sheriff's Office reported that more than 300 service weapons will be replaced as the department purchases new Smith & Wesson guns.

“As a result, the Sheriff's Office inventory of 355 current duty pistols and approximately 400 old duty firearms will no longer be needed,” Sheriff Greg Munks said in a letter to the board.

The current ordinance, which was adopted in 1999, prohibits the county and county law enforcement officials from selling any county-owned firearm.

The proposed amendment would have allowed the Sheriff's Office to sell its old duty guns deemed “surplus property” to sworn officers of the Sheriff's Office, firearm manufacturers or another law enforcement agency.

The Sheriff's Office said the sale of its old duty guns could raise up to $150,000 for the department.

Supervisor Dave Pine said he was concerned that selling old duty firearms to gun manufacturers would risk sending more guns into “the general population.”

Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said the amendment should include language that would only allow deputies to buy their own service weapons, and not multiple firearms.

“I don't want anyone to be able to buy four or five guns,” Tissier said.

After a brief discussion, the board agreed to pull the proposed amendment and rewrite it to specify that sworn duty officers will be able to purchase their own service weapons for a nominal fee once they are replaced with newer models.

The new proposal will not permit the county to sell retired weapons to gun manufacturers or other agencies when it is reintroduced to the board at a later date.

Bay Area NewsDon HorsleyPeninsulaSan Mateo County Board of SupervisorsSan Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

Just Posted

The Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street was one of many hotels that took in homeless people as part of The City’s shelter-in-place hotel program during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Closing hotels could disconnect hundreds from critical health care services

‘That baseline of humanity and dignity goes a long way’

Pachama, a Bay Area startup, is using technology to study forests and harness the carbon-consuming power of trees. (Courtesy Agustina Perretta/Pachama)
Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

Most Read