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Indiana state senator Jim Tomes has introduced a bill in the legislature that prevents further waste in gun turn-in events, so called “buy backs”.   The guns were never owned by the people purchasing them, so “buy back” is a loaded misnomer.  The effort seems to be part of a trend in gun-friendly states. Kentucky appears to have been the first state to pass such reform legislation back in 1998. The Indiana bill seems loosely based on a similar Arizona reform passed last year. North Carolina is the latest in a number of states that have passed the money-saving measure . . .


“I don’t see why anyone would object to this because it benefits everyone involved,” Tomes said.

Currently, guns that are obtained by law enforcement officials are destroyed and used as scrap metal. If Senate Bill 229 becomes law, local officials could only destroy guns that have a serial number that is indecipherable. Those guns can then be taken back to labs for investigation and used as scrap metal.

Guns that are determined as being defective can only be sold to FFL members.

The guns that are still usable will be auctioned off and the money, minus the taxes, will be given back to the department that resold the guns. The departments can use the money to buy ammunition, vests, weapons or otherwise enhance public safety.

This bill is an improvement over the Arizona reform in that firearms that aren’t working can be salvaged for parts by being sold to FFL holders. Often the parts from older firearms are worth more after being pieced out than the firearm is worth as a unit. Some companies specialize in brokering deals for firearms between police departments and large gun dealers.   Some states conduct auctions of guns collected, as do some individual departments.

The Indiana Senate Judiciary committee passed the bill by 6-2. The North Carolina bill passed by large margins: 98 to 16 in the House, and 48 to 1 in the Senate. It was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. I wish Kentucky did allow gun buy backs. I’ve got some really decrepit guns I would just love to get $50 to $100 for.

    • There’s some thinking involved, outside of the much-favored emotions. I think it’s a good start.

    • Not only common sense control but common sense in regards to creating a revenue stream without further taxing the populace. This kind of creative thinking is desperately needed in our leaders.

  2. I used to go to gun buy backs to see what was being turned in. If I found something good I would buy it as i private sale. Most of what is being turned in is junk but you never know.

  3. Gun “buy back” is indeed a misnomer given the fact that these guns were not purchased from those sponsoring these “buy back” programs. In reality these “buy backs” are “compensated confiscation”.

  4. All this discussion about how best to handle “buy back” guns overlooks the absolute idiocy of the idea in the first place. In addition to what we all know – that these programs do nothing to improve safety – I’m finding it hard to believe that paying $50 – $100 for guns that are mostly junk raises any money for anyone! What exactly is the point of these efforts anyway? Answer: they are feel-good programs for do-gooder politicians!

  5. All guns should be put up for public sale( if a legal owner and no crimes) or return to owner and yes a lot of market for old broken guns, the parts along have greater value… Numrich arms – E- guns buys broken firearms just for the parts. I have used them to get parts my self and gunsmiths the world over go to them for parts…….

  6. Kentucky still allows “buy backs”. Several were held in Louisville in the past couple of years. According to KRS 237.025, Kentucky police agencies may hold guy buybacks and destroy the firearms. KRS 16.220 requires that confiscated firearms be sold at auction to FFL dealers. KRS 237 was passed 3 years after the original KRS 16.220 was passed.

  7. What is to stop people deliberately making cheap and otherwise unserviceable guns, just to make a profit by selling them to buy back schemes? And, what is to stop saboteurs concealing things in the guns that would damage the scrapping process? (Extra screening isn’t a way to stop that, it’s precisely the added expense which is the point.)

  8. The problem is it is a distraction from the real causes of violent crime — released criminals in any jurisdictions streets

  9. It’s a good, common-sense measure, and the police departments should get more out of it than if they were just selling it for scrap.

    Most buyback guns are junk, but part of the reason for that is that I know some folks who have scored some nice deals on non-junk just outside of these events. Why get $50 from the South Bend PD or whomever, when this fella is offering you $100 or $150 for that pistol?

    • Hell better South Bend PD than Mishawaka or Elkhart. Those guys are a bunch of A holes just because they went to the same high school together. At least in south bend you can talk your way with them haha

  10. I’d like to see the cops involved in the gun “buy back” in the picture charged with and convicted of felony fraud.

    Now that would be a pretty nice piece of legislation.

  11. $ should go into the general fund. Not the Police donut and scholarship fund. Stop the incentivizing of stupid.

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