GARDINER — A Gardiner city councilor said Wednesday that given recent violent incidents around the nation, the city should not profit from guns and other assets forfeited by criminals following their arrests on drug or other charges.

District 1 City Councilor Terry Berry stated his position as the council considered whether to accept nearly $13,000 in drug proceeds and three guns taken into evidence when two men were arrested in Gardiner in 2015 on drug offenses including heroin trafficking charges.

Because of the Gardiner Police Department’s role in the investigation, the city is eligible to receive forfeited assets. Under the state’s asset forfeiture law, municipalities must publicly vote to accept forfeited items if the court orders the forfeiture.

Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said at Wednesday’s meeting that the firearms could be used for training purposes, could be sold or could be used as a trade-in when the department replaces weapons for its officers.

“Given recent events, I don’t think I could live with us receiving these firearms that we could sell or give as a trade-in,” Berry said. “I can see them being used for training. But I would let the Attorney General’s Office keep the ($13,000), that’s how strongly I feel about this.”

Berry asked that the guns be used only for training or to be destroyed, and the council agreed. The council also voted to accept the forfeited cash.

On Thursday, Berry said his position was not entirely based on the mass shooting this month at an Orlando nightclub. Last month, a gun broker had auctioned the gun used by George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

“Orlando made another layer in the process,” he said. “I would have asked for this if Orlando had not happened.”

If the council is asked to vote on accepting any other forfeited guns, Berry said, he will make the same request.

Following the vote Wednesday, Toman said that if the city receives the firearms, they would be disabled and used in department training scenarios.

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