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Image courtesy Greenwich, CT Police DeptOn the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut played host to the saddest little gun turn-in in the history of the world ever. The residents of the wealthiest per-capita town in the United States (pop. 62,000) surrendered a grand total of five rifles and one handgun to be destroyed by the Connecticut State Police . . .

The Greenwich Time, stretching journalistic descriptive license beyond any recognizable limits, called it “quite a haul” of firearms. They were even more proud that another five rifles (whoa Nelly!) were turned in prior to last Saturday’s event, bringing the ‘grand’ total to eleven unspecified guns. Also not specified: the amount of money and police time wasted by the Greenwich Police Department in hosting this pitiful charade.

Eleven firearms is “quite a haul?” Eleven guns in one day would be quite a haul, if you or I had bought them in one day at a really awesome gun show. But for a anyone trying to make a show of ‘getting guns off the street’ I can’t imagine a more pathetic response.

The day wasn’t a complete bust, however. Also surrendered were a wheelbarrow full of ‘truncheons’, hatchets, machetes and pocketknives. And a fencing epee. Most of these non-firearms were turned in by an elderly woman whose late husband had been a knife collector, and who didn’t want them around the house.

A thousand rounds of ammo were also turned in last Saturday. These were promptly taken to the Greenwich police firing range for ‘destruction,’ presumably by shooting them.

The firearms will be destroyed by the Connecticut State Police, but the destruction of the other turn-ins was left up to the Greenwich PD. If there are any Benchmades or Al Mars in that wheelbarrow, is it be too cynical to speculate that some of them might find their way into a policeman’s pocket instead of the incinerator?

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  1. Not everyone in Greenwich is filthy rich…but > 98 % of them are. There are a lot of nice firearms and no one’s turning them in for a pittance.

  2. “Most of these non-firearms were turned in by an elderly woman whose late husband had been a knife collector, and who didn’t want them around the house.”

    Jesus that’s depressing. Not only does that seem like an awful way to respect your late husband’s legacy, but she potentially gave away tens of thousands of dollars in collectibles. Sigh.

    • Great point. My wife doesn’t especially care for firearms, but she sure as hell wouldn’t throw all of mine away if something happened to me. Maybe we need to get working on some kids…

    • She could have sold them on consignment on Ebay. There are a number of companies who will sell your stuff for a cut…why didn’t anyone there have the decency to suggest that to her, rather than having them be destroyed?

      • If there are any blades of any value in that pile, you can be assured they will not be destroyed. Every cop in Greenwich just got some new knives.

      • They didn’t suggest that because the whole point was to get the dangerous items OFF the streets and into police custody. No one is going to do any drive by lancings with that epee now, are they?

    • Yeah, I cringed when I read that. I’m imagining an octogenarians life long collection, including a samurai sword taken from a Japanese officer in WWII.
      now I’m sad.

      • My legal documents include very specific instructions as to the disposition of stuff my wife is not likely to want. Basically, the logical progression goes wife->kids->brother->(theoretical) grandkids->sale through any of several named brokers. I also make an effort to maintain good documentation on exactly what I own and roughly how much it cost.

        That last part is something the spousal unit will only see if something happens to me, though we certainly discuss individual expenditures. I don’t ask how much her shoe/purse collection has depreciated to, she doesn’t ask how much my stuff is worth. 🙂

    • “Well he ain’t even in the ground,
      and you know that his truck is up for sale.
      They say she took it pretty hard,
      but you can’t tell too much behind a veil”. Ballad of Forty Bucks, Tom T. Hall

  3. So, they were offering no compensation, but “maybe several gift cards” for turning in your heater? What an incentive!

    The acceptance of All Rifles *and* Assault Weapons made me laugh.

  4. Gotta love the news media reaction…

    v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy.
    There’s no news in the truth and no truth in the news.

  5. Gun turn ins used to piss me off, until I thought about it… the guns are voluntarily turned in, and although some collectibles may be lost, in the time it took them to collect these 11 guns I’d realistically estimate that 25,000 to 50,000 new ones were sold today across the country.

    • And the more time and money they waste on this useless crap, the less they have to do something that might actually hurt us. Maybe we should encourage them.

      • While I understand that sentiment, that’s absolutely the wrong approach to take, IMO.

        These buybacks (1) are useless in terms of making anyone safer – which is ostensibly the goal of these buybacks, (2) are a waste of taxpayer dollars (see #1), (3) are a waste of police time (see #1), (4) result in the destruction of firearms that could have gone to help poor families defend themselves if they’d been donated elsewhere (for example, the Armed Citizen Project), and (5) result in the well-connected (police, politicians, and their friends & families) obtaining firearms that they should have to purchase out of their own pocket like anyone else.

        None of these things are good. It is inexcusable to use taxpayer dollars and police time on something that is wasteful, ineffective, perhaps counterproductive, and only benefits the well-connected.

        What we should do is attack political gun buy-backs as fraudulent. We should trump their buy-backs by holding our own when they do, and using the salvageable weapons received (that aren’t collector’s items) to help the Armed Citizen Project.

    • Interesting point, and you’re no doubt right. Gun turn in’s don’t have any meaningful net impact on the supply of guns out there any more than they do on the amount of crimes committed out there.

      Still, I continue to object to these boondoggles, even if they’re ineffective, because they reinforce the false and highly offensive notion that firearms are feral menaces and that agents of the state are their only rightful keepers. That siren song is nails on a chalkboard to me.

  6. in the list of things of what will be accepted it says “all assault weapons”, i would love to bring a broken hammer and take my gift card and run.

  7. “These were promptly taken to the Greenwich police firing range for ‘destruction,”

    Or rather to fire a few FMJ rounds through them to send to a ballistics lab, so they can toss the resultant rounds into a file with a picture of the destroyed firearm and the serial numbers, date turned in, and a reference ID for whatever video was taken of the buyback in case they later want to find out who was the original owner.

  8. I work in Greenwich and I’ve been seeing signs for the Turn-In all over town. This is exactly the result I was expecting.

    Wish I could put a Pro-2A sticker on the back of my work truck, but I do see a fair amount of NRA stickers in the area. One Range Rover I see pretty regular says “University of Smith & Wesson” across the rear window. Love it.

  9. You know what is great about America, people can do what they want. So f’n what she turned in a bunch of knives, etc. It is her choice. I think most of you are upset that you could not get it away from her and turn around and sell it for a higher price. Also, some collections just went up in value because there a few less knives of one type which makes the value higher. So, she did some collectors a favor.

    • Dammit! I could have used the fillet knife and the paring knife. From the look of the handles those were postwar Solingen blades.

  10. Not even a food gift card???

    If they were taking guns from criminals it would help for a short time.Getting rid of the criminals will do more than taking in weapons people have in their safe.

  11. I have loved in greenwich for over 20 years and know quite a few guys and gals on GPD. They are mostly embarrassed by this but can’t say so publicly given the politics of the Town. I can confirm that even the Red Rider BB gun that was turned was not a threat as it was inoperative and could not fire any test BBs for filing and future forensic tests.

    But given the success of this effort, local gun owners are discussing participating in the next turn-in by surrendering their assault Ginsu knives as well as their dangerous old, non-locking blade BSA folding knives.

    • I have a full carry in CT for years and I think it a shame how the voters allowed such morons to stay in office

      They fail to realize we lose one right the rest will follow and my firearms will not be used to hold up a gas station or used in a drive by BUT I have stopped a mugger dead in his tracks in Hartford when he puled a knife on me and I pulled a 40 cal on him.

      This of course never made the local news

  12. What is so great about the BUY BACK system in NYC is many police officers (no questions asked) sold non working firearms to church groups and in some cases the “throw away weapon” that could have been used to track where the firearm came from is now gone

    So now you have a funded program to get rid of evidence


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