Q The sheriff’s office has acquired a number of firearms over the past several years and would like to know how they may dispose of them. Some were acquired by forfeiture, some are surplus inventory, and some were abandoned property.

A As to firearms forfeited as a result of criminal activity, the judge should direct that the weapons be disposed of at public auction, destroyed, or placed on the property rolls of the county, in his or her discretion, in accordance with Section 97-37-3. Surplus county property, including firearms, must be disposed of in accordance with Sections 19-7-5 and 17-25-25. This requires posting of three notices at least ten days before opening bids if the sale exceeds $1,000, and private sale by unanimous vote of the board if less. Abandoned property must be disposed of according to Section 19-3-85, which “designate(s)” the sheriff to make the sale. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Reynolds, October 5, 2012)