Florida Gun Buyback Program Down 86 Percent

We’ve been arguing against gun buyback programs since day one (three years come mid-Feb). They’re a really bad idea on every level—save feel-good political grandstanding. If nothing else, these “no questions asked” cash-for-guns initiatives destroy evidence that could be used to solve crimes. And waste taxpayer money. And . . . don’t get me started. In an ideal world, gun buybacks would die from a confrontation with common sense. In the real world, they may peter out on their own. orlandosentinel.com brings us glad tidings of waning participation . . .

Residents looking to get rid of unwanted firearms at an annual gun-buyback event today trickled into the drive-through style dropoff site at theLake County Sheriff’s Officesubstation off State Road 50.

People were invited to exchange their unwanted guns for a $50 gift card to Walmart at the no-questions-asked event as part of the annual Central Florida Kicks for Guns collection. The event is sponsored by Central Florida Crimeline, a service that collects crime tips by phone and online for law enforcement, and Real Radio 104.1.

The event proved to be much less popular than last year, when the Sheriff’s Office collected nearly 400 firearms, more than any other site in Central Florida, and distributed more than $12,000 in gift cards. By late this afternoon the agency had collected 56 firearms, including one illegal weapon that had its serial number removed and still had some of its initial $5,000 gift-card supply left for late-comers.

I make that an 86 percent decrease. It’s also worth noting that there are millions of guns in Florida, both legal and illegal.

What are the odds that the buybacks’ organizers let the Florida gun buyback program die? Slim to none.

In other cities the people in charge simply raise the exchange rate, increasing the likelihood that criminals will steal guns from lawful owners to feed the market.

When it comes to gun control, you can’t fix stupid.


About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

21 Responses to Florida Gun Buyback Program Down 86 Percent

  1. avatarOddux says:

    Is that picture from the actual buyback?

  2. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Cue the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments from the Central Florida Crimeline.

  3. avatarjwm says:

    when they were giving cash i would dispose of junk guns and buy better guns with the cash. that’s how i bought my russian sks. a rusted m44 mosin that cost me 40 bucks at a gun show and a busted marlin 22. i got 100 bucks each at a gun buyback and bought my sks with the money. now they give gift cards to different stores it’s not as much fun.

  4. avatarInternational Jeff says:

    Seriously – those guns were handed in? Most of those have grips on them that are worth more than $50. Has anyone ever stood outside these events and offered 125% of value for guns you want?

  5. avatarAharon says:

    “They’re a really bad idea on every level”

    Now wait a minute. Selling back old rusted guns in Chicago recently raised enough money to buy ammo ‘for the children’.

  6. avatarAge Quod Agis says:

    Some of the firearms I’ve seen turned in at these buy-back events has brought a tear to my eye….

    • avatarIdahoPete says:

      Yeah, wonder how many of the valuable ones end up “lost” from the property room? Are there a couple of top-break revolvers in that box? S&W top-breaks in working condition (even without much finish) will bring $200-300, depending on the model. And any one of those sets of pearl and ivory grips (if real) would get you $50-100. Guess there is no cure for stupid.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      Not the guns in this box, although full-sized H&R and Iver Johnson .22 revolvers are sturdy and dependable.

  7. avatarMichael B. says:

    They held the damn thing on a Thursday in Orlando. Everyone was working, otherwise I would’ve gone down there and offered people more for any rare firearms.

    Anyway, I think I know why they did it on a Thursday. Gun show is in town tomorrow. :]

  8. including one illegal weapon that had its serial number removed

    and the city is much safer now that they got this illegal weapon off the street. I wonder how much safer the city would have been had they caught the criminal that used that weapon in a crime.

    • avatarSammy says:

      Or found out what crime it was used in. The chain of custody from the LGS might prove interesting as well. I would bet more than one was a straw purchase. That’s one of the sources of the illegal gun supply, isn’t it?

  9. avatarCorey says:

    I heard about this on the radio yesterday. I started to laugh when I heard there was a gun buy back near me….then when I heard that they were offering a $50 gift card I laughed even more. Smh, I feel bad for the people they dupe into these that have valuable guns. As for the people who have worthless crap (knowingly), free money lol

  10. avatarRalph says:

    OMG! A gun buyback program! In the Gunshine State!

    What’s next, a chocolate buyback program in Switzerland?

  11. avatarbontai Joe says:

    Please, please, PLEASE let me know of any gun buy back plans in the future in northeast PA. I have a box of less than desirable firearms (ok, broken down worthless junk) that I’d love to trade for cash, or gift cards.

  12. avatarBryan says:

    Does anyone know is it legal to hang out at one of these events and buy someone’s gun from them before they turn it in for $50? I don’t really care if the popo is happy about it, just as long as it’s legal.

  13. avatarJoe says:

    It is completely legal to buy firearms from private sellers, for now. See you at the next buyback event with a wad of CASH!

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