Guns Save Life/ TTAG image by John Boch.
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Guns Save Life members netted our second biggest haul ever as we once again turned in broken-down, often rust-laden junk for perfectly good cash at a July 13th Chicago gun “buyback.”

GSL will use the proceeds from this event to fund organized youth shooting programs, including sending young people to the nation’s longest-running NRA Youth Shooting Camp in Bloomington.

I serve as GSL’s executive director. On Saturday morning, I and an undisclosed number of my fellow GSL member patriots turned in 23 guns and three pellet guns. Staff at the event mistook one of the pellet guns for a real gun and issued us a total of 24 $100 debit cards and two $10 cards, for a total of $2,420.

The $2,420 marks our second biggest year behind 2012 when we came home with well over $5000 in our biggest haul ever. That event netted us national publicity and gave Chicago’s political leaders a black eye. In fact, they suspended the whole buyback program for at least two years due to fallout from the 2012 event.

Each year that we successfully transact business with the do-gooders in Chicago, we direct our proceeds towards youth shooting programs, including the nation’s longest-running NRA Youth Shooting Camp at Darnall’s GunWorks and Ranges in Bloomington.  (2018 photo-rich stories here and here.  2017 stories here and here.)

Image by John Boch.

Unlike last year (see below), this time we had no issues trading unwanted clunkers for cash. The officers ran this year’s operation in a professional manner, without discrimination.

Officer Kandel from the Office of the Superintendent deserves extra praise for pleasantly welcoming people wishing to surrender guns, and she even saw to securing chairs for the elderly and disabled. She served as a very positive public face of the department and did the CPD proud.

Meanwhile inside, a number of officers cleared the guns being turned in. Some appeared to know their way around firearms more than others, but safety has improved dramatically from our first visit to Chicago in the mid-2000s.

A photo from the Chicago Police Facebook page from the event. We recognize several of those guns as ours.


Image via Chicago Police Facebook page.

Yes, the Chicago Police Facebook page showed Officer Duong holding what looks like an Uzi, however, I didn’t see it myself. It’s unknown if this is an airsoft gun or if someone actually turned in a $2,500+ original for a $100 gift card.

One fellow brought a plastic 55-gallon barrel chock full of junk long guns on a hand-cart but we don’t know if buyback officials accepted them or if he was turned away.

They did have a big sign: “No FFL”.  I joked that meant they didn’t have an FFL to legally “buy” these guns back.

Image by John Boch

All in all it proved a great day for the good guys as we scooped up $2420 in Chicago taxpayer money that we’re going to use to teach kids about the safe and effective use of firearms. We imagine Chicago’s new mayor Lori Lightfoot will be thrilled.

What happened last year?

Last year, when Guns Save Life members participated in the gun buyback event, I was pulled out of the line by a Sgt. Samuel Dickerson and told that the event was for people in the neighborhood, not outsiders. He told me they would only take two of the eleven guns I presented – or that I could simply leave.

Now-former Chicago PD Sgt. Samuel Dickerson lifting a box at a 2018 Chicago gun buyback.

Later, when he saw me snap a photo inside the event, Dickerson took me outside and claimed that a city-run, publicly-financed event being held in a public facility was “private” and photos weren’t allowed. This despite a local TV news crew shooting video.

Furthermore, Dickerson banned me from ever returning to another gun buyback.

John Boch in front of Chicago’s Public Safety Headquarters building.

Last year, following the all-day trip to Chicago Police Headquarters to file a formal complaint to the Internal Affairs Division in person, I wrote, “You may not remember him – at least by name, but he’s gonna remember me.”


To this day the Chicago Police complaint against Sgt. Dickerson remains open.

Dickerson, a merit promotee within CPD, chose to retire early instead of answering the complaint. Rumor has it he took a job with a suburban department.

Because he left the Chicago Police department in ‘other than good-standing’, he faces a lifetime ban on carrying a gun as a retired cop. Unless, of course, he works 15 years with another department. Otherwise he’ll just have to get a carry license like the rest of us mere mortals.

As I wrote last year, it’s really a shame that an officer like Dickerson can cast a cloud over Chicago’s finest. The rest don’t deserve that.  Not one little bit.

At the same time, this year’s event was a very professionally-run operation. As it should be.

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  1. I like the stories about guys who turn in junk and the money as the down payment on a good piece.

    • Happened downunder back in the 1990s. People handed in junk SKS rifles and went and bought a new Remington or Savage. I bought several Lee-Enfields.

      I knew someone who was taking stuff to instant buyback centers. Their definition of a rifle was a barrelled receiver, so he was press fitting worn out 303 barrels to junk Garand receivers and getting paid for handing in a batch of Garands.

      The winner has to be the person who went metal detecting at abandoned ww2 bases in Northern Australia and found a dozen or so 20mm Oerlikon cannon. He was paid 20k each for them.

  2. Gotta love the suckers getting separated from $2500 of their money.

    Uzi is almost certainly a fake. The bolt is in no approxmiation a real one.

    • There is something off about the lines on that UZI as well, and that officer would have to have a very strong wrist to hold one at such an angle so casually. Then there is the reality that UZIs are highly valued and unlikely to end up at a buyback anyway.

      • I have some semi converted bolts and parts kits here. One day I need to get to them…..

  3. I suppose they might have been wearing nitrile gloves to protect themselves against potential fentanyl or something left on the guns by disreputable owners.

    But I’m not actually that kind of person. Did they say they weren’t going to check forensics for crime scene matches? Does anyone believe that they’re not going to track where the gift cards are spent?

    Just because you’re paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get you.

    • If they’ve tracked them in the past from us, they have traced them right to local gun shops. Even though in the past they’ve claimed the cards aren’t redeemable at gun stores.

      This year, we may use Walmart. Make a $5 purchase and select $100 cash back. Give the cashier $5 and run the debit card and get 5 $20 bills in return.

      No credit card processing fees.

      Life is good.

      • Darn I didn’t think of that. I turned in 4 junk guns and an air rifle got $410 in gift cards and bought $310 in Brownell’s gift certificates and then purchased the pieces for my .300 Blackout pistol

  4. Great day for GSL! And supporting future sportsmen/women.
    Someone should warn that new police department about Dickerson’s past. I’m glad there was some sort of consequences for that behavior.

  5. How did this transaction net money for GSL and the person turning in the gun? Did the city give $200 for each to GSL and GSL gave $100 to the person turning it in?

    • Nevermind, the earlier article linked answered my question. I didnt make the connection that the GSL folks were just turning in junk to the city and donating their proceeds

    • This time all the guns were donated to GSL.

      In the past we have had people donate a few guns and want a card or two. But not this time.


      • Sounds like a cool event. You would think the cops would be happy to get guns off the street…

        • Yea, but the only problem is the cops aren’t buying the guns that were “on the streets” you imbecile. Plus the cops and powers that be get the bonus of all the pertinent information on the seller so when the SHTF they know right where to go to collect your guns.

  6. This makes me happy. Gun “buybacks” not existing at all would make me even happier, but since they do, I’m glad somebody with good gun sense is putting them to good use.

  7. Using the proceeds for real gun safety, teaching teens and young adults how to safely handle guns is the best gun safety out there.

    Bravo! I believe that groups of kid loving adults should try to teach proper gun safety to kids(with their parents’ permission, of course). I asked at the local police stations if there wee any programs for this and I couldn’t find a single PD that did this or even allowed its officers to do so.

  8. LOL…What did you do- kidnap a few colored fellow’s?!?😄😊😏Good job!

  9. Can’t wait for my city to have another buyback so I can turn a couple junk guns into 2A Foundation donations.

    • Maybe if you took better care of your guns you’d have no “junk guns”? What a sap!

  10. In other news, the antifa/John Brown communist nutbar who got himself killed at an ICE facility (since Vlad is still posting, I assume it was Miner49) posted a manifesto calling for violent reprisals using DIY AR15s (“ghost guns”). Probably a good chance that’s what he was shooting based on that info. Brace yourselves for calls to be denied gunsmithing freedom in the face of these creeps, because a guy who’d shoot you dead used that freedom (incompetently) for evil.

    • Doubt it. This guy’s going to disappear like the rapture happened to him. They DON’T want national press coverage of an armed violent loon that is clearly on the left because it disrupts the narrative that the loons are all on the right.

  11. Awesome job Mr. Boch! Thank you for introducing youngsters to the proper way of handling and using firearms. Always glad to see youngsters take an interest in firearms and their rights. And thanks to mayor lightgroot for the generous donation.

    • Kudos to GSL for hopefully cultivating the next generation’s interest in responsible firearm ownership and use.

  12. Could you guys inform about buybacks, pro gun protest rallies like IGOLD, zombie shoots etc. You report about, before they happen? My friend owns couple of broken old revolvers that would look great on that pile in CPD’s picture.

    • The last time we announced out plans to visit Chicago’s Gun Buyback ahead of time, the Mayor’s office sent a hack who turned away all Caucasion people.

      So no, we won’t be advertising it ahead of time.

      The other stuff? Like IGOLD? I think we do. Certainly in GunNews and on the GSL website.


  13. I would never sell a gun in this method regardless of it’s condition. I would rather give it to an unarmed man with a family to protect. Don’t you imbeciles realize you’re only voluntarily placing yourselves on a list in your greed to make a minimal amount of money? All the while feeling all cocky and so very smart?

    • “I would rather give it to an unarmed man with a family to protect.” You would give a non-functioning or unsafe firearm to a man with a family to protect? What about a woman? I *might* give one of these to someone I don’t like to defend him/herself because it probably won’t work. And the guns that are missing parts, fire-damaged, or rusted from decades of abuse and neglect? WD-40 and gun oil can only do so much against rust.

      As for the rest… Please explain, sir:

      “Don’t you imbeciles realize you’re only voluntarily placing yourselves on a list in your greed to make a minimal amount of money?”

    • Knock it off Bruce. That’s the second post where you’ve called someone an imbecile. This was the first “buy-back” I managed to catch ahead of time. Normally I find out about them after the fact. I turned in an old enfield with no bolt, a pistol that had a zinc slide (unsellable) and weapon I know was stolen and an old Sears .22 that my dad purchased when he first came to the US (I have his Weatherby .22, so no sentimental value to me) I used the $400 to buy myself the parts for a .300 Blackout AR, Arguably these guys had better motives.

      • And no information was taken from me. I guess they could track the gift cards, but I doubt they go to that much trouble.

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