That department followed all state and federal laws when it sold the gun and 45 other confiscated hunting guns to the public over the last two years. Kmetz, who was prohibited from owning a gun because of his mental health history, ordered it from an online auction site and had a friend pick it up in an illegal “straw” purchase at a gun shop in Princeton, Minn.
On Jan. 26, Kmetz, 68, took the gun to New Hope City Hall, where he shot the two officers. Other officers returned fire, killing him.
“You can’t guarantee where guns go,” Fournier said.
Duluth police pocketed $5,538 for selling the 46 shotguns. Feb. 13, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said his department now is weighing a change in the way it discards confiscated weapons no longer needed for investigations or training.
“The New Hope incident is yet another example of why we need to develop sound strategies to keep weapons from individuals who are ineligible to lawfully possess them,” Ramsay said.
If Duluth decides to start destroying them, it will join many Twin Cities metro-area and outstate departments whose chiefs say that policy sends the right message about keeping guns off the streets.