Guns Save Life has developed something of a reputation for repeatedly stinging government gun buyback events (see here, here, and here). We collect and trade junk guns — some of them utterly trashed — for perfectly good cash that we then use to support youth shooting programs across the state. Oh yeah, we also use some of the money to buy guns to give away to the kids.
Eleven years ago, we popped Chicago for about $6,500 while turning in almost 70 guns at one of their gun buybacks. The international publicity caused such a black eye for Murder City, USA that they suspended the “doing something” kabuki PR programs for a couple of years. Even today, the city’s buyback program is only a weak shadow of its former self.
In the past month or so, however, I’ve taken at least four phone calls from supposed GSL members who each say they have multiple guns to deliver to me for us to take to our next buyback adventure. One was a member I knew from Peoria, so factor him out of this equation.
With each phone call I got from people I didn’t know, the number of guns they say they have to deliver to me has grown. The most recent one didn’t give an exact number but said he had “probably close to a dozen.”
In past years, I’d only get one of these phone calls every now and then. The people would identify themselves and I’d sometimes even recognize their voices. Or they’d approach me at Guns Save Life meetings.
These past three phone calls, however, have struck me as odd in that none of them identified themselves. Not only that, but they they all were willing to bring them to my house. In fact, they seemed just a bit eager to do it.
These days I remind everyone that under the terms of the Protect Illinois Communities Act, as of July 1st all private firearms transfers must go through a dealer to do the required background checks, paperwork, etc. All three of the callers, though, said they had no need or desire to run these “clunkers” through a dealer.
Failure to do so, however, is a felony. In Gavin DeBecker’s The Gift of Fear, he teaches people not to ignore their intuition. I didn’t.
I’m pretty sure these calls were sting attempts. I don’t know if it’s some rogue officers from Chicago’s infamous CAGE unit or if this is was a bright idea by the boys over at the Illinois State Police. But I’m reasonably sure that these callers, given their frequency and their eagerness to bring the guns to me, weren’t interested in helping us collect more money from another gun buyback event for the kids.
I’ll state this for the record: Guns Save Life isn’t collecting guns any longer given the end of private transfers in Illinois under the new law. With that in mind, the ISP/CPD/whomever is trying to run sting…you can stop calling.
Then again, I might have you bring them and call local law enforcement to meet you for attempting to engage in felony gunrunning. I’ve got 4k surveillance cameras all the way around my residence so that would make for some great video, audio and pictures.