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Gilmer to sell weapons stash to pawn shop

By Richard Yeakley
Feb. 27, 2013 at 11 p.m.

It might have been a haul from a medieval battlefield. Six battle axes, 60 swords, five buck knives, eight spears, three clubs and a mace were among the weapons awarded to the city of Gilmer by the Upshur County District Court after what police said were repeated incidents with the items' owner.

Gilmer Police Chief James Grunden said officers had responded to multiple calls related to the former owner threatening his family members with the weapons. He also occasionally walked down the road displaying the prohibited weapons, Grunden said.

"When it went to court, the court awarded us the weapons," he said.

That left the Gilmer City Council on Tuesday trying to decide the best way to get rid of the unusual arsenal.

City Manager Jeff Ellington said police considered destroying the weapons, but to melt them down would cost more than $300. City officials also considered selling the weapons to residents, but City Attorney Michael Martin warned the council the city could be liable.

"If you look at the list, they all can be considered by law as a prohibited weapon," he said.

"Then we got the idea that maybe we could do some trading with a legitimate business," Ellington said. "That seemed to be the better option because then we wouldn't spend the money to destroy them and we wouldn't have the liability."

So the council decided to sell the weapons to Gilmer Pawn Shop for a store credit for the Gilmer Police Department. Martin said using the pawn shop to get rid of the weapons eased council members' concerns.

The store, in the 1100 block of U.S. 271 north of Gilmer, will give the Gilmer Police Department $600 in merchandise trade for the weapons.

"It's just a store credit. We may buy some gun cleaning kits or some ammunition," Grunden said. "(The store) carries a lot of things we use from time to time."

The weapons were still in the possession of Gilmer police on Wednesday and soon will be transferred to the pawn shop.



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