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The council appeared to be torn about wanting to provide the police department with everything it needs to be effective and avoiding the possibilities of putting more guns on the streets that might be used against police and residents. After almost two hours of back-and-forth discussion from the council, police and residents, it may have been an amendment to ban the sale of four assault rifles and a submachine gun that gave the proposal just enough support to go forward.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima, the last person on the seven-member council who votes, cast the deciding “yes” vote in a 4-3 council decision to allow LCPD to conduct an online auction of 124 handguns. All of them have not been used for several years, and police department officials said anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 could be raised from selling the surplus weapons.

“As technology changes and ergometric changes have been made we’ve gone to different weapon,” said LCPD Commander Mark Nunley, in explaining to the council why the department wants to sell the surplus firearms. “… It’s also a cost factor.”
Police Chief Richard Williams added, “It’s time to upgrade (the department’s arsenal), and that’s what we’re doing.”

Police department officials emphasized the firearms would only be sold to federally licensed dealers, and the at-large public wouldn’t be able to purchase any of the firearms.

Source: Steve Ramirez for Las Cruces-Sun News.

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