Selma, AL Gun Turn-In Is a Success…For Private Buyers

A small gun turn in event was held on last week in Selma, Alabama. These events are characterized by the propaganda term “buy back”, but as the organizers never owned the guns in the first place, they can’t be bought back. The turn-ins have become less popular in recent years as private buyers looking for bargains frequently offer more for the more guns than the organizers. That was the case in Selma . . .

As one private buyer told,

My name is Robert W. Kennedy Jr. and I am the founding member of BamaCarry..I offered more money.

Most of the guns were garbage..They refused to purchase broken guns..I was able to make quite a few good purchases..Rifles and Pistols..

I cannot wait for the next sale..

The event paid for 51 guns at $75 each. They didn’t come close to using the $5,000 that they had collected to pay people to give up their guns. And the organizers weren’t happy with the presence of private buyers.

The private buyers also set up a video camera as some have been harassed by police at previous gun turn-ins. It appears, though, that the First and Second Amendment activists were successful:

Police Chief John Brock said the group filmed from public property and does the same thing at other gun buy backs. He said they travel around buying antique guns that have high resell value.

“They are in it for a profit. They are looking for something worth more than several hundred dollars,” Brock said.

Brock said they also could sue government and law enforcement that interfere with their filming or buying.

“They sue people. They want people to tell them to leave. Everything they were doing was legal,” Brock said. “It’s perfectly legal to sell a gun … if I made them leave, there would be a lawsuit.”

In a post to’s page on Facebook, Kennedy, who was open carrying, said that he offered to talk to a reporter, but that he was turned down.

WSFA Montgomery was also there for a few minutes but never spoke with us or filmed us. When I approached the reporter he refused to explain why. I handed him a business card and jokingly thanked him for unbiased reporting..

Numerous academic studies have found that thee events have no measurable effect on crime. The guns collected tend to be exactly the opposite of those used by criminals, and the people who turn them in are usually law abiders. The events’ primary purpose seems to be political theater, to drive home the narrative that “guns are bad”, “more guns = more crime”, and “only the police should have firearms”.

The presence of private buyers undercuts the narrative by showing that guns are useful, that responsible, law abiding people value them, and that turning guns into the police is a way to lose a valuable item that could be worth more on the legal market.

If the real point were to remove guns from a crime-ridden neighborhoods, the organizers would have been wise to cooperate with the private purchasers. The guns would still have been removed from the neighborhood, the sellers would receive more for their firearms and the guns would end up in responsible hands.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch


  1. avatar Big Jim says:

    I called the so-called buybacks Compensated confiscation. It’s a good idea For the police that taking those firearms to be able to sell them back to the public But I’m a big hater of those programs Just more anti-gun rhetoric that doesn’t work

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I called the so-called buybacks Compensated confiscation.”

      Well, you’re wrong.

      “Confiscation” implies something is taken from you against your will.

      Those folks handed them over by their own free will.

      A more accurate term would be ‘gun buy up’

  2. avatar Sam says:

    Love it 🙂
    And love that the Police Chief admitted that what they were doing was Totally Legal.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Yeah, but even just reading the quotes from the chief, the disgust just drips from his words. He admitted it was legal, but it’s clear he wishes it wasn’t.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Or you’re just reading way too far into the quotes.

  3. How does this work if you end up buying a stolen gun at one of these events?

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      Events like this generally precipitate a rash of gun theft, as crack-heads scramble to get $75 for nothing.

      And the facilitators of these events like it that way.

      Pay no mind that it has no impact on crime, well, other than increasing gun thefts for the weeks between the announcement and the event…

      I’m also curious… If they weren’t accepting broken guns, guns that won’t fire… How did they test the function?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        That actually sounds kinda silly. Just sayin’. If a coming gun buyback makes a crackhead want to come into my house to steal my guns, at extreme risk to life and limb, why would he not have already cleaned me out of jewelry, guns, china, etc, before that? Not certain this reading makes sense.

        1. avatar none says:

          they are often stolen from family members. you cant pawn them (since the pawnshops report stolen goods), but this is no questions asked.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          Yep. I agree.

        3. I’m asking about the private buyers who set up and pay more than the cop buyback. What happens then?

      2. avatar Fred says:

        Probably blocked actions or clearly deactivated guns such as looking for cement in the barrel. That’s what I would look for, but I don’t know if the buy-back facilitators would be that astute. Maybe they meant broken as in had a scuff on the stock? It’s more likely they turned away the guns the private buyers looked at first and wouldn’t buy.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Get a receipt!

    3. Stolen guns seem to be less than 1% of guns turned in at these events.

      Here is an article about the actual risk involved:

  4. avatar Dustin says:

    I tried this once in Lakeland, and got arrested.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      In Florida? Tell us more. In fact – send the story to TTAG so they can make an article about it we all can read.

    2. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

      Please do, I live in Lakeland now, and need to know!

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Yet another Lakelander here, cough up the details, son…

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I tried this once in Lakeland, and got arrested.”

      I’m throwing the BS flag.

      I found no record of an arrest for Dustin E(redacted) in Polk County, Florida…

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Dustin was just funnin’, boys.

  5. avatar Dustin says:

    ““They are in it for a profit. They are looking for something worth more than several hundred dollars,” Brock said.”

    Brock, what were YOU doing with them, then?

    If I find something worth $400… You offer the seller only $75… But I offer $100… How can you call me the profiteer? I gave them MORE than you were willing! Is math really that hard for you, Brock?

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Chillax guy, you’re acting like his statement is an insult.

  6. avatar Fuque says:

    I gotta try to make it to one of these bargain daze programs…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Me, too. Does anybody have these in TX, or do I need to drive Northeast?

      1. avatar TxGal says:

        Don’t know that I’ve ever seen a police sponsored “gun buy” (which would be proper way to call it) I live between Austin & San Antonio, never seen one advertised for either city. Folks from Dallas and Houston might know?

  7. avatar rob g says:

    What a great idea (gun turn-ins)! Maybe we ought to do this with ISIS. I wouldn’t be surprised if some pointy-headed libturd doesn’t suggest this after the next slaughter.

  8. avatar Mark N. says:

    Too bad this doesn’t work in California, where all transactions have to be processed through an FFL. Pretty much have to be an FFL to participate in the private side of such events.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Guys with FFLs operate from card tables at gun shows doing the NICS on cell phones. Assuming their presence and transactions were otherwise legal in the vicinity of the “Official” gun buy I can’t see why a representative with an FFL would not be willing to join up in hopes of scoring a nice piece for resale.

  9. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Did I miss it was immoral to make a profit??? I got 32000 bucks for a painting I paid $15 for. And I paid what they ASKED. Good on this guy paying more than the po-leece…

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      What if it was really worth $500,000? Who got the best of whom?

  10. avatar KingSarc48625 says:

    “WSFA Montgomery was also there for a few minutes but never spoke with us or filmed us. When I approached the reporter he refused to explain why. I handed him a business card and jokingly thanked him for unbiased reporting..”

    *MIC DROP*

  11. avatar The Original Brad says:

    “If the real point were to remove guns from a crime-ridden neighborhoods, the organizers would have been wise to cooperate with the private purchasers.”

    I never thought of that – since the organizers are generally anti-gun they’d never do that though. Despite the fact that it would work to actually increase their intake of weapons if people knew appraisers would be there, ready to make them a fair deal. If their gun wasn’t worth much, they’d at least get the money offered by the turn-in program. Point is, greed would motivate a good number of folks to come in whereas they would normally pass.

  12. avatar PeterK says:

    Awesome. But now I gotta know what the haul is! 🙂

  13. avatar tresk21 says:

    I live about an hour north of Selma. Didn’t hear a peep about a gun ‘buyback’ on any of the news outlets before or after. I had no clue this was happening or I would have been there with cash in hand, too!

  14. avatar Larry says:

    The guy in the pic. Edc’s 3 pair of glasses….. Perhaps they had a glasses buy back as well !

  15. avatar Chris says:

    Every once in awhile they do one around here but they offer like $200. I have an old Ruger 10/22 that has been threw hell and has more rounds than I can count threw it. I’d sell it for $200 than head over to my gun store for a nice new one.

    I’ll gladly separate some fools from their $200 and give it to my local gun store instead.

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