Earlier this week, retired Bremerton cop Roy Alloway was indicted on gun charges. The accusations, relating to his sales at gun shows without a license, are being savored among some medical marijuana advocates, who have cast the onetime narcotics detective as a trash-talking, rough-riding zealot. The Kitsap Sun had a more flattering interpretation of his career. Love him or hate him, he's faced trouble before for his gun dealings.
According to a document from the grievance Alloway subsequently filed (see pdf), the longtime cop "arranged to trade weapons seized by the Bremerton Police Department with a local gun dealer in exchange for weapons needed" by the department. He did so after receiving a memo from the city attorney indicating that such dealings were improper; the department was required by law to sell seized guns at an auction.
Alloway was not the only one who received that memo. So too did three of his superiors, including the chief, according to the arbitrator who heard Alloway's grievance and subsequently ordered his discipline reversed. The department's brass nonetheless signed off on Alloway's gun-trading plan. Only after the state Auditor flagged the trades as a problem did the chief come down on Alloway.
That doesn't necessarily absolve Alloway. It merely indicates others were at fault too.
Of course, it's one thing to flout the rules for the good of the department, and another to do so for personal gain. In the recent indictment, Alloway is charged with operating at guns shows like a business, something that requires a federal license. (Hobbyists are allowed to sell guns from their private collection without a license.) He allegedly bought nearly 400 guns with the intent of reselling them.
His attorney, Bob Goldsmith, told the Kitsap Sun that Alloway "never thought he was breaking the law."
But the prior disciplinary case suggests that Alloway has a history of not reading the law very closely.
Update: Goldsmith tells SW that he is unfamiliar with the disciplinary case but that "it sounds like a tempest in a teapot" that caused no harm to the public.