News10NBC Investigates: What happens after RPD confiscates a crime gun?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – One alert viewer asked us a good question: What happens to the illegal guns after the police get them? We got into the room with the answer.

“What happens in the city affects us out here,” Doug Childs said from his home in Greece.

The question came up after Thanksgiving dinner at Childs’ home.

“My question Berkeley is – what happens to the illegal guns that are taken off the streets?” Childs asked.

“So this is our gun storage area. It holds approximately 10,000 guns,” said RPD Lt. Greg Bello.

The answer to Childs’ question is in this room at RPD. There are bins of murder guns that go back 40 years because police are not allowed to destroy a murder gun.

“So these dates back to the 70s,” Bello said. “So every time there is a homicide, we are required by law, to keep that weapon indefinitely.”

An entire wall of the storage is filled with rifles and shotguns.

“This is unfortunately what we deal with in the City of Rochester. We deal with things like, this is from 2017. This is an AK-type rifle,” Bello said.

He went through the rest of the wall finding shotguns, a rifle with a scope, a sawed-off shotgun, and an assault style rifle with a scope.

RPD confiscated at least four weapons since Thanksgiving. All of them were loaded. One was a ghost gun.
Another was reported stolen. Every non-murder gun taken by RPD has to be stored until the prison sentence and the appeal process is done.

“So for example, if somebody gets a sentence of 10 years, we would hold onto that firearm for at least 10 years,” Bello said.

Some of the guns in storage were surrendered at gun buy-back events. Bello reached into one of the bins of those guns.

“I don’t know what this is, what the heck is this?” Bello wondered.

It was a drill turned into a gun.

“This looks like a drill that’s been modified to shoot bullets,” he said. “Look at that. So this appears to be some sort of drill that’s been modified to shoot bullets out of it.”

When the appeal process is done, RPD destroys the gun. There is space available in the storage room and they need it. RPD has recovered more than 700 illegal guns this year.