North Carolina's Alcohol Law Enforcement agency has replaced 150 handguns about a year after buying them because the weapons were defective. Agency director John Ledford told The News & Observer of Raleigh that the Kimber pistols originally cost $1,055. The agency swapped the more expensive defective weapons for a less pricey gun through a local firearms dealer and didn't have to spend any more money. <!-- $cms.websiteSection.disableStory -->The newspaper reported that a review of records show that the agency has bought all new weapons every few years. The old guns are frequently sold to agents and other agency staff, often at a discounted price. Kimber America chief operating officer Ralph Karanian would not discuss specific malfunctions with the newspaper. <!-- $cms.websiteSection.disableStory --> Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.