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Rutherford wants to replace the department’s .40 caliber Glock and Sig Sauer pistols, which have been in use for about 10 years. The sheriff estimates it will cost about $60,000 to buy 120 new guns, holsters, spare magazines and tactical flashlights to attach to the weapons.

Rutherford said he has put off buying new weapons for the department because he didn’t have enough money in his regular budget.

The sheriff currently has about $225,000 in a fund left over from concealed weapons permit fees.

When the Legislature set up the fee structure in 1996, lawmakers said that any money left over from administering background checks and issuing concealed weapons permits would go to the Sheriff’s Department to spend as the sheriff saw fit. Most county sheriffs use the permit money to supplement their incomes and help buy extra equipment, and some have used the money to buy guns.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said Rutherford could use the pistol permit money to outfit his deputies with new weapons. But Carper doesn’t think Rutherford should have to.

Source: Rusty Marks for the Charleston Gazette.

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