Miami Man Arrested Outside ‘Buy-Back’ For Offering to Buy Guns

Miami man arrested for offering to buy guns

courtesy CBS Miami

The government doesn’t like competition. It may be perfectly legal (in most jurisdictions) to stand outside a city-sanctioned gun “buy-back” and offer people more money than they’d get inside, but the city employees (read: police officers) who are being paid to man these events sometimes take exception to that kind of behavior.

A south Florida man found that out the hard wayJohn Gillis had done his homework before the buy-back and what he was told by police must have made dollar signs dance in his eyes.

Gillis, an NRA instructor and avid gun collector, had contacted the police department in advance to ask how much they would pay for 27 AR-15 lower receivers, which is the part of a firearm that provides housing for internal components such as the hammer. He says he was told the department would pay $250 for AR-15s, a type of weapon that has often been used in mass shootings.

The Miami New Times made sure to get that last part in. Also this . . .

Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 when he murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. An AR-15-style rifle was used to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter used one when he ended the lives of 12 people and injured 58 others.

Anyway . . .

But when Gillis showed up to sell his AR-15 parts, he says, police offered him only $17 for each.

“They refused to take 27 AR-15s off the street as far as I’m concerned,” Gillis told New Times. “The Miami Police Department doesn’t classify this as a firearm. I asked for that in writing, but they wouldn’t give it to me. They had initially promised $250 for the lower receivers, but now they only wanted to pay $17.” Gillis said each receiver was likely worth about $50.

If the cops were only paying $17 for ARs, Gillis figured that was an opportunity.

Gillis wasn’t happy with the cops’ price, so he stuck the “I Buy Guns” sign on his Jeep, offering to pay more than the police for firearms he could add to his collection (he ultimately had no takers). The way he tells it, several cops began to question Gillis, who is white, and his friend, who is black, and frisked the friend but not Gillis when they eventually arrested the pair. He also accuses the police of using a racist slur against his friend.

Gillis was arrested for “contracting without a license,” a charge that was later dropped by the State Attorney for lack of evidence. Gillis says the cops were just harassing him because he was trying to prevent them from “ripping people off.” It certainly seems so.

comments

  1. avatar Specialist38 says:

    My surprised face…😲

  2. avatar Mark Davis says:

    The government will never pay you what your gun is worth.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      That’s true – sometimes they pay MORE than the gun is worth. St. Louis hosted a buy-back last winter, offering $100 for handguns. I had an old POS Jennings J22 I had bought years ago for $50 new, and an even bigger POS German revolver that didn’t even work. I walked out of there with 2 $100 bills, no questions asked.

      1. avatar Mark Davis says:

        The German revolver, If it were a Rohm (RG) was worth at least $100 broken. Lot’s of parts available for them. As for the 22 Jennings they usually go for $150 to about $175.

        1. avatar Specialist38 says:

          Not around these parts…..lol.

          Pawn shop pricing.

        2. avatar Ardent says:

          You actually see Jennings j22s sold for $150, or offered for sale at $150? The former sounds like a pawn shop trying to avoid sales for some reason, and if they really do sell for that price, there is a ton of money to be made, as they regularly sell here at gun shows at $200 for a stringer of 5, or $50 each. I recently traded one for a pair of night stands and seeing how nice the furniture really was, threw in $25 and several hundred rounds of ammo because I felt like i was ripping the guy off.

        3. avatar Hawk says:

          The Jennings .22 I bought new was about $50, but that was many years ago.

    2. avatar don says:

      The police are in the confiscation business, that is what they really want to do, not the buy back business.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        unless they see something they like…

    3. avatar Kroglikepie says:

      Each firearm is worth a grabber’s life. If more were aware of the price they would have to pay, they wouldn’t be grabbers.

      1. avatar Hawk says:

        Please define “a grabbers life”.

        1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          Pretty self-explanatory. Those who want to ban arms can come claim them themselves, and be prepared to deal with the consequences of their theft.

        2. avatar Hawk says:

          Kroglikepie, I have no clue what you’re talking about and it surely isn’t self-explanatory! Try again please and this time clarify what a “grabbers life” is!!!!
          Your comments make no sense at all!!!!

        3. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          “Grabber” = gun grabber = gun prohibitionist = pro slavery moron = hoplophobe etc.

          If the price is a grabber’s life, then I clearly mean that the price of ‘buying back’ by force arms from the public is that of the lives of those who wish to confiscate arms. I.E. if you wish to compel the public to surrender their arms, be prepared to die for your cause. If more prohibitionists were aware that *their* lives would be put on the line in their confiscatory dreams, they would temper their expectations.

          How much more verbose do you need it to be?

        4. avatar Hawk says:

          Thanks, Kroglikepie, I understand it now perfectly.

  3. avatar The Rookie says:

    “he was arrested for contracting without a license. The charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      So do the Police have a “license to contract”?

    2. avatar WhiteDevil says:

      You have a right to resist an unlawful arrest.

      1. avatar NipThisInTheBud says:

        No you do not

        1. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

          @Nipthis I think the Founding Fathers of this country would beg to differ.

        2. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          Umm…yes, you most certainly do. I love how you clowns adopt some “clever” screen name to respond to one, and only one, comment. Also, you may take the life of an agent of the state if they attempt to limit or outright deny you the exercise of your enumerated rights under the COTUS.

        3. avatar balais says:

          You do, *BUT*…

          Be prepared to deal with any unintended consequences, which include, you being shot or beaten.

          Police, like government, act first, then deal with the consequences later, even if they are completely in the wrong.

        4. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          I understand this. That’s speaks to the innate depravity of our current government and multiple law enforcement departments. We have to start fighting them now. The only reason we are in this current predicament is because someone else adopted bontai joe’s mentality long ago. I understand what he’s saying, but, we give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. They said, just fight it out after. I’m not willing to wait or delay anymore.

        5. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          I understand this. That’s speaks to the innate depravity of our current government and multiple law enforcement departments. We have to start fighting them now. The only reason we are in this current predicament is because someone else adopted bontai joe’s mentality long ago. I understand what he’s saying, but, we give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. I’m not willing to delay this fight any longer.

        6. avatar Hawk says:

          Under current laws, the only time you are legally justified to resist arrest is when you fear for your life, period! If you disagree with me, ask a good criminal lawyer.

        7. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          @Hank Incorrect. You can resist any and all unlawful arrests. That is not up for dispute.

        8. avatar Hawk says:

          Sorry, white devil but you are incorrect! As I stated earlier, there is only one circumstance where resisting an unlawful arrest is valid, when you feel you are in immediate fear for your life by police.

        9. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          I’m not going to play the back and forth game of yesteryears. You can believe what you want. The fact that you believe this, given the opposing truth, demonstrates a lack of knowledge and understanding.

        10. avatar Hawk says:

          “The fact that you believe this, given the opposing truth, …”
          Perhaps you might share the facts about the “opposing truth”, such as what statute of federal law spells it out?

        11. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. Upheld by the Supreme Court in John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. Don’t tell me that you actually have an issue with citizens stopping oath breakers from unlawfully arresting them.

        12. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          Actually, on further studying this topic, it appears that there is no right, but, a limited allowance under some state laws. My apologies. The fact that there is no constitutional provision that declares we have the right to resist an unlawful arrest is a travesty.

      2. avatar bontai joe says:

        I agree that technically you do have the right to resist an unlawful arrest. But in the real world, you run the risk of being tazed, beaten, and/or shot. I have learned not to disobey a person with a gun and a badge, and in doing so, I have avoided lumps on my head, broken bones and custom made holes. I’ll make my fight about an illegal arrest later with a lawyer in court.

        1. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          Believe me, I understand perfectly well what you’re saying. I’m not willing to allow a government employee to essentially kidnap me and unlawfully confine me. I will stand up, and I have done this before, to their antics and shut them down. It just takes a willingness on part of citizens to remind the police of their true role. The only time to do it is then.

        2. avatar MiamiC70 says:

          Let me know how that resisting arrest works out for yo buddy.

        3. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          It worked out well for me, actually. When they realized that I wasn’t going to show my palm, they disengaged. It saved me substantial headache, down the road. Your attitude represents what is wrong with us as a country. You would rather jump on here to throw shade at my comments and actions than to realize that citizens resisting unlawful arrests will actually benefit others. Cops need to be reminded that they work for us, not the opposite. When cops understand that we aren’t going to roll over and become passive sheep to their every whim, then everyone benefits.

        4. avatar Hawk says:

          Show your palm? Can you share this experience with the rest of us?

        5. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          What a submissive chimpanzee does when confronted by the alpha. Two officers come to my house at 11:30 at night. Everyone is asleep, aside for me. They are there to serve a warrant for my father, on account of my mother lying them about him having striked her. I was standing in the middle of it all that day. He didn’t even approach her. Now, I told them he wasn’t there and that they needed to leave. They didn’t comply. At this point, I become enraged and walk to the bedroom to ask my mother to tell them he’s not here. I mistakenly leave my door open and they walk in the house behind me. I am fuming now and I tell them they have no right to walk into someone’s home without their permission. This is just simple manners. They want to argue and I tell them I’m not arguing with them and that I will physically remove them if they resist again. They walk outside. One of the officers puts his foot in the doors path. I tell him to move it or I will push him out of the door. We stand there and squabble for a few minutes and I proceed to remove him for the doorway. They attempt to push back and tell me that I am under arrest. I shut the door and tell them that if they illegally enter my home then they are going to be in a fight. At this point, I was screaming all of this and they realized I wasn’t backing down. I was red hot and ready to fight. I’m about 6’2” and 260. Both of the officers are under 5’8” and barely 150. After a few minutes of my screaming at the door, telling them to get off the property, they leave. First, they had no legal right to enter my home the first time. Second, he was in direct violation of the 4th amendment by placing his foot in my door. Third, I was lawfully in the clear when I physically removed him from the doorway.

      3. avatar Dave says:

        No, you have a right to fight it in criminal court and then potentially a civil suit depending on their actions. “Resisting” will land you with some actual charges and some warranted bruises.

        1. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          “Warranted” bruises? They sure were deserved when the arrest wasn’t lawful to begin with. Idiot. Also, what you said is partially correct. Even though we have a natural right to resist an aggressor, be they a criminal or cop, the right to resist is only recognized in some states.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      Miami just seems to make up the rules as they go along…a very arrogant bunch….

  4. avatar TBone says:

    Gillis says the cops were just harassing him because he was trying to prevent them from “ripping people off.”

    Fun fact: you cant be “ripped off” if you know the value of the thing you have. For example, I doubt many people on this site would be duped into selling a lower for $17 unless Gramps passed away, they didnt know what a lower was for, and there was a crate full of them.

    My guess is there is more to this story. First being that anyone who told him they’d purchase a lower for $250 was either lying or misinformed about the buy back price. Or the person telling this story is lying. Even the police are aware lowers dont warrant $250.

    Buybacks arent a place to make money unless the weapon was given to you.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Or unless you get creative and “turn in” a few dozen improvised shotguns you made from plumbing supplies.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Maybe they were willing to buy the entire rifle for $250? It would make more sense than $250 for a stripped lower that you could buy today for $15-$25.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        Are you willing to share the address of this fictional business selling lowers for 15-25 (they actually sell for 50 to 60 USD) USD? Or is it just too much easier to claim that such a place exists, but nobody but you knows about it?
        Oh, I forgot the most important part, you don’t remember where or when you saw it for that, but it must be true because you said it… sort of.

        1. avatar Hawk says:

          The lowest price I’ve seen so far was just under $40, and that was within the last two weeks.

        2. avatar FedUp says:

          I’ve seen open ear Andersons for $29.99 at two different vendors within the past month.

          Never seen them cheaper, aside from a “20 for $100” deal on some with quality issues.

    3. avatar anonymoose says:

      My guess is that they did say they’d pay $250 for a lower when the guy asked how much they’d buy an AR15 lower receiver for, but these cops didn’t know what a lower receiver was and was for some reason picturing an entire M4. Despite popular belief and media depictions, 99.9999% of cops don’t even know how their Glawk works.

  5. avatar Stan says:

    So let me get this right, the Miami PD does not consider receivers to be firearms?!?! Too stupid.

  6. avatar Bt justice says:

    Imagine all the guns he can buy with his false arrest settlement…

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      Not only that…I’d hope he will bring suit for denial of rights under color of law…when was the last time someone was actually arrested for contracting without license? Sounds like the sort of thing one is normally summoned for, not arrested. I’d argue the cops would have been better off being half as cute, and charging him with disorderly conduct rather than something as foolish as contracting.

      1. avatar Rocketman says:

        Doesn’t work that way. The local PD would have referred it to the feds and they would have nailed him for selling guns without an FFL license. No ordinary citizen is ever going to come out ahead when dealing with the government. The deck is totally stacked against them.

        1. avatar Hawk says:

          He wasn’t selling, he was offering to buy guns from those considering selling to the police in the buyback program.

  7. Consider these vile, damnable, and deceitful anti-gun turn ins for
    what they are: class warfare predicated upon political deceit! Thats
    right! Merchants who prostitute themselves to this via cash cards or
    whatever deserve to be boycotted and run out of business! This is
    civilian disarmament intended to promote an anti-gun socialist agenda
    reminiscent of a 1918 Bolshevik propaganda poster in Communist Russia ordering peasants to surrender their guns, knives, and personal weapons to a bunch of murderous criminal thugs, the Cheka! The Cheka was the precursor to the murderous
    Soviet Secret Police or NKVD (later KGB) starting under Lenin and
    Trotsky, and later utilized by Stalin to perpetrate terror, enslavement, and mass murder over disarmed/unarmed masses.

    Yes indeed these vile damnable “turn in guns for cash” scam are
    simply class warfare against honest American gun owners, our
    Second Amendment heritage, freedom, decency, and morality. Two
    commentaries of mine bear this out. They include: “Anti-gun agenda
    is class warfare” (Friday, January 9, 2009) and “The war on America’s
    gun owners” (Monday, August 3, 2009), respectively.
    These remain archived via the Ashland Daily Tidings at http://www.daily
    tidings.com. Enter “search.”

  8. avatar RA-15 says:

    The police may be dumb , but they aren’t stupid !

  9. avatar ToddR says:

    I’m hoping that he has some video evidence that might assist in potential litigation. Qualified immunity isn’t absolute.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Read the statute he was arrested under.
      Could it possibly be used to charge a private collector with advertising his desire to privately purchase a firearm?

      If no, then false arrest, not qualified for immunity.

      If yes, change the law and tar and feather the idiots who passed it into law in the first place.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        My friend, there isn’t enough tar and even Colonel Sanders couldn’t supply enough feathers if we really went after all the politicians who fit your definition!

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

      That is scary, because it has a good chance of passing :

      “A Miami-based political committee has proposed a constitutional amendment that would ban possession of “assault” weapons in Florida if approved by voters.”

      “The proposal would define assault weapons, in part, as being “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once.” While it would ban possession of the weapons, it would include exemptions for military or law-enforcement uses. Also, it would include an exemption for people who had the weapons before the ban went into effect but would add a registration requirement.”

      NY state, here we come…

      Looks like we are going to need semi-auto firearms declared *explicitly* constitutional by SCOTUS…

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        now THAT may realistically be in our future…if they can find a way to get it to the SCOTUS

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Florida is occupied territory 5 months out of the year by North Easterners with lots of money and influence. Enjoy what Republican office holders you have now because you’re being invaded from the North and from PR to the East. They are fleeing the property costs on one hand and devastation on the other.
      Florida will be the first southern state to go blue permanently.
      Texas is not far behind.

  10. avatar possum says:

    The Power Elite. …. Buy backs??? Evidently the States must own the firearms to start with. And evidently you need a license to be a consumer??? To many lawyers, to many laws.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    “several cops began to question Gillis, who is white, and his friend, who is black, and frisked the friend but not Gillis when they eventually arrested the pair. He also accuses the police of using a racist slur against his friend.”

    That’s totally unfair. Why should black people be the only ones who get to despise cops?

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      sounds a lot like typical, eastern big-city cops…are they importing them, as well?…or just their attitude?

  12. avatar Jay in Floriduhhh says:

    G-d forbid the Miami cops should chase a crook. I wonder how many cops stood around to harass other citizens that day?? And take down plate numbers of those parking…Just in case. Ive seen the plate scanner cars Florida cops use up close and very personal.

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ve got a nice shitty .25 auto just waiting to be purchased by the state. I hope to get at least 100 dollars for this 25 dollar turd.

  14. avatar Jeremy D. says:

    I thought $250 was for all 27, $17 apiece is over $450

  15. avatar Hannibal says:

    Based on this story alone it was a bullshit contempt-of-cop charge and they should lose a lawsuit for it. Unfortunately since there were few damages a lawyer probably won’t touch it.

    1. avatar Cory C. says:

      Respectfully, that is inaccurate, or at least overstated. You are right to suggest that, under the American Rule, plaintiffs pay their own legal fees (usually out of their winnings), and a defendant cannot typically be compelled to pay for them. However, where authorized by statute, the opposite is true. For instance, in the State of Texas (where the firm I work for operates), plaintiffs can be awarded attorneys fees in contract cases, deceptive trade cases, etc. Likewise, federal law allows for the recovery of legal fees in civil rights violation cases. So, a lawyer actually can represent someone like the man mentioned in this story, win for him a nominal damages award, and then get fully paid for his efforts out of the defendant’s pockets. This is actually the racket the Westboro Baptist Church employs. They have their members engage in tactless and offensive protests, eventually some cop gets pissed and arrests them for being obnoxious, and then Westboro’s lawyers come to the rescue and sue the city. There are some people who believe that that is actually the entire purpose for the church.

      I don’t say any of this to be rude or condescending. I’ve read your posts on here many times before and you’re evidently a very smart person. I mention all this instead to say, essentially, “That’s a reasonable guess but for technical reasons it’s actually not as hopeless a case as you might imagine.” I hope I didn’t give offense.

  16. avatar Tom says:

    False arrest lawsuit time. And in Florida police do not enjoy qualified immunity in cases of civil or constitutional rights violations. He can go after the individual arresting officers. If the officers use the police department legal advisor as their defense counsel, they can be nailed for ethics violations.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Not to mention abuse of process.
      The State’s Attorney pressing charges against him without evidence or intent to successfully prosecute the case, only to drop the charge six months later, probably when he and his ($$$) attorney showed up for the trial…

  17. avatar Sprocket says:

    Florida is another state that is really no longer America; transformed by Democrats and third world garbage. These stories are instructive, in that they represent where we will be as country should should the lefties win.

  18. avatar Wally1 says:

    This must be a Florida thing. Where I live the cops would have contacted me and asked that if anyone sells me a nice M1A or FAL to call them and they will buy them for themselves and I could make a small profit. I live in a very gun friendly law enforcement area. I see these guys at the range all the time and have a good relationship with them. Most are really good guys. We also had a municipal Judge (now retired) that was an active Cowboy action SASS shooter. He shot approximately 20,000 rounds a year in training and competition. I watched the Judge shoot his Winchester 1873 (Uberti ) so fast that sounded like it was full auto.

    So, I guess it depends where in America you live. Rural police are usually trained better than urban police, because they can’t always call for back-up. They have to handle everything by themselves. This means they also have better communication skills and public interaction. Just my opinion, based on facts.

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