- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A suburban police department sold hundreds of confiscated and surrendered firearms to gun shops and a dealer now in prison for selling weapons to felons, a newspaper reported.

Another of the shops lost its license last summer after authorities linked guns sold there to 19 homicides, including the killing of a Philadelphia police officer, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.

Upper Darby police stopped the resale practice after federal agents raided a shop in 2005 and traced an illegal sawed-off shotgun back to the department.

“This involves hundreds of guns,” retired police Detective Ray Britt said. “Lots of people knew it was happening, and some officers tried to stop it, but it went on for years.”

It is legal for police departments in Pennsylvania and many other states to sell confiscated firearms to licensed gun shops, but several large law-enforcement agencies in the Philadelphia region say it is a bad idea.

Upper Darby Police Capt. George Rhoades said police had supplied weapons to three gun shops. One of them, Mac’s Gun Shop, was raided in July 2005. Owner Michael McGinnis pleaded guilty to selling guns to felons.

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