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By Lee Williams

The Miami Police Department currently has no export licenses or permit to ship firearms to the Ukraine, but they’re working on getting them, or at least they claim they are.

In a story published Wednesday, we revealed how the department has a gun buyback scheduled for Saturday, which they’re calling “GUNS 4 UKRAINE.” Miami Police spokeswoman Officer Kenia Fallat said that the weapons collected at the buyback will be shipped to the Ukraine for use in their ongoing war against the Russian military.

Their plan was fraught with legal entanglements, since shipping firearms to a foreign country without the proper paperwork violates federal law, specifically the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, known as ITAR. The plan also violates state law, specifically, Florida Statute 790.08, which regulates what police can do with firearms or other weapons that come under their control. Shipping guns to a foreign military is not one of the options allowed by the statute.

gun buy back buyback miami-dade

During her interview, Officer Fallat asked for written questions, which were provided to her. She provided the following written responses today:

Does Miami PD have a firearm export license?

NO. However, at the June 9, 2021 Commission Meeting, the City of Miami adopted Resolution R-22-0219 directing the City Manager to “take any and all action to work with federal authorities to ship any functional weapon received through the City’s Gun Buyback program to Ukraine for use in the conflict against the Russian invasion.” The directive to take “any and all action to work with federal authorities” may include, but is not limited to, the procurement of an export license in accordance to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) including conformity to the requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); any guidance from the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls regarding AECA export controls and licensing for articles enumerated on the U.S. Munitions List; any relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); and/or compliance with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security export controls for items listed in the Commerce Control List (including firearms) pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations; and/or compliance with the National Firearms Act including any application to obtain a permit for permanent exportation of firearms; any necessary clearances from ATF prior to export; or compliance with any one-time licensing exception the City may be eligible to obtain as provided in the provisions of ITAR. The actual avenue for the City to lawfully export anything is speculative at this time because the City cannot predict the amount or types of firearms that will be donated at buyback event,” Officer Fallat said in a statement.

Are you aware shipping guns to a foreign country without an export license violates ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)?

If by ‘you’ you mean the City of Miami, YES. See above. The resolution adopted by the City Commission anticipates that the City must ‘work with federal authorities’ to lawfully attempt to comply with the directive and deliver the firearms to the brave men and women fighting for their liberty against their oppressors.

Are you aware shipping guns to a foreign country violates FL Statute 790.08?

“If by ‘you’ you mean the City of Miami, it is the City’s position that section 790.08 of the Florida Statutes does not regulate the international exportation of firearms.”


Based on the responses, which were obviously written by the department’s attorneys, it is clear that Miami Police didn’t think this gun buyback idea through. Even if they’re able to obtain a one-time export license from the State Department or Department of Defense, which ITAR experts say is unlikely, the process can take months or even years. The department’s interpretation of state law is also flawed.

Florida statute 790.08 gives law enforcement a short list of options they can use for weapons that come under their control. They can use the weapons, loan them to another law enforcement agency, destroy them or sell them, but the statute requires them to deposit all money raised from the sale into the state treasury earmarked for the benefit of the State School Fund.

MPD’s statement suggests the statute “does not regulate the international exportation of firearms.” In fact, the law lists the only legal options allowed, and exporting firearms to a foreign military is not one of them. To be clear, if they export the weapons to the Ukraine, they will violate state law.

Historically, police gun buybacks do little to deter crime. They’re a public relations stratagem used to make it appear as though police are cracking down on crime by putting guns on a table in front of the media. A better name for the event would be “cash for clunkers,” since the guns police actually buy back are usually cheaply made are rarely function.

I have covered more than a few police buybacks. I have never seen a single firearm that’s battleworthy – not one. Most are junk.

Does MPD actually believe that Ukrainian forces would arm their soldiers with the cheap .25s, broken-down air rifles or rusty .22s they’ll be collecting? Besides, the Ukrainian forces don’t need cheap small arms. They need long-range artillery, MLRS platforms and anti-tank systems.

In my humble opinion, the real intent of the GUNS 4 UKRAINE buyback is obvious. It’s a classic bait and switch. MPD is using sympathy for the underdog Ukrainian forces as a ploy to get guns off the street, in the mistaken belief that this will make residents safer. It won’t. Even the name is a nonstarter. After all, how do police buy back something they have never actually owned?


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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  1. They’re shipping wall-hangers to Ukraine? Or did they expect people to turn in something other than broken junk?

    • LOL, LMAO even.

      Yeah not the smartest move but maybe they will manage to not have them stolen by local thugs like the body armor NY tried to send over. Either way I think even a lot of democrats are starting to tire of the virtue signaling.

  2. Easy to explain:
    1)This aligns with regime virtue signaling therefore it is justified.
    If that doesn’t work:
    2)We’re the cops so you STFU.

  3. They’re obviously counting on most people being too dumb to understand what they’re doin! Linda like the feds!!

  4. “…long-range artillery, MLRS platforms and anti-tank systems.”
    no way i’m letting them have mine.
    why is a “firearm” returning less than a rifle or shotgun?
    and why are the least powerful calibers i own generating more than the others?
    it’s almost like they’re targeting specific items.

  5. Miami-Dade can do what they want.

    They operate under a “home rule” charter and are exempt from FL Statute 790.08 per item (7).

    • Even if that is true (I am too lazy to verify) that doesn’t preempt Federal law…..well maybe it does since Miami- Dade is Democratic they are exempt from following pesky laws.

  6. You people just don’t ‘get it’. We’re the police. We make our own rules. We do whatever we want. Your opinion means diddly squat to us. We are the police, we have guns, we have badges, and most judges believe whatever lies we tell them. Now, sit down, shut up, and don’t watch what we do.

  7. They can ship illegally because the Feds have decided that the law only applies to their opponents.

  8. Or.. they can get around all this by transferring the guns to the U.S. government and the government can ship them as it already meets all requirements.

  9. Unless they are shipping recognisable weapons of a suitable CALIBRE that is widely available in Ukraine it’s a pretty bloody useless gesture. I might add thyat as far as I can see I’m the onloy one to even mention this. Ukraine is awash with small arms and what they REALLY need is some seriously advanced HEAVY weaponry. The Ukrainians have, apparently [their words not mine!] broken the back of the RUSSIA Armoured assault and the war has descended into a kind of ARTILLERY led War of Attrition including the use of cruise missiles which after all are nothing but long brange Artillery. Every time the war is a war of INFANTRY on INFANTRY the Ukraininans have casualty bration of at least 5 and maybe even 10-to-1 simply because they have the experience.
    As it is the RUSSIANs seem intent on completely destroying that which they hope to gain. Most of that destruc tion is inn the very territory they have now occupied and the cost of re-construction now stands at an estimated [as from a month ago] at very nearly ONE TRILLION DOLLARS [taking One THOUSAND -MILLION as a trillion. Over 90% of Ukraine is actually pretty much untouched.


    The joint USA/UK organisation in Germany co-ordinating SUITABLE military supplies to Ukraine from across the Globe. BUT, and a big but, it’s no good sending anything that cannot be ‘fitted’ into Ukraines normal military structure, apparently an awful lot of unsuitable ARTILLERY AMMUNITION has already been sent.

    But sending BY-BACK rubbish. Who the hell thgought that one up? Idiots.

    I find myself for probably the first time agreeing withthe opening comments.

    • And we find ourselves, as usual, not giving a shart WHAT you think, Albert the Subject. You labor under the pathetic delusion that ANYONE on this forum is interested in what you “civilized” Euroweenies think – we don’t. You’re a Brit (allegedly); your opinions stopped mattering to us around 1776. We, being FAR more reliable than you limeys, continued to give a s*** about the French until about 1918 (but STILL went and rescued their sorry asses in 1945).

      Oh, LOOK!!!! There goes a rolling donut!!! Why don’t you go take a flying fornication at it???

    • Albert Brainless Hall sez, “Ukraine is awash with small arms”

      That is either a lie, or Albert’s just too stupid to understand what he typed. Ukraine is short of EVERYTHING, except maybe fortitude. Recruits are assigned to units with not enough guns to go around, so the recruit gets a gun when a more senior person is killed or injured.

      And, ALBERT!!! Mom wants you to take trash out, and get off her computer!

    • Using USA math 1,000 Million comes up to 1 Billion not a Trillion. Over here it takes 1,000 Billion to make a Trillion.

  10. It would be nice to see some Miami brass sent to a fed pen. The bigger the brass, the better.

  11. “…However, at the June 9, 2021 Commission Meeting, the City of Miami adopted Resolution R-22-0219 directing the City Manager to “take any and all action to work with federal authorities to ship any functional weapon received through the City’s Gun Buyback program to Ukraine for use in the conflict against the Russian invasion.”

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, 2022.

    Are we expected to believe that The City of Miami had the forethought to pass this law before the Russian invasion began?

  12. This mess is the City Council’s fault, not Miami PD. The Police Department works for the City Council and the Mayor. The PD is actually being fairly transparent with their written answers to the Second Amendment Foundation. Lots of PD’s would simply ignore such inquiries.

  13. Them gunms ain’t going to the Cranes. It’s just a scam feel good gunm grab.
    Besides ain’t nobody going to turn in nothing but junk anyway.

    • possum,

      Got a benjy says any good ones turned in (there are people out there that stupid; after all, look at dacian and MinorIQ) go RIGHT into some Miami cop’s closet. Hell, I’d even give odds.

    • So, you’re saying that this is a grift by the Storks?

      Damn things, I knew we couldn’t trust them. You know they kidnap children and then pretend to deliver the kid to an expectant mother?

  14. Ignoring for a moment that the trigger in some of my rifles cost more than they are offering, why are their “high powered rifle” examples all intermediate cartridges? Do they know what 300 WinMag is? I tell people all the time that my AR is the *least* powerful center-fire rifle I own.

    • About the only thing they know is “gunz bad.”

      As others have pointed out, they’re not gonna get nuttin’ but junk anyway. They’ll send ’em to the smelter and ship about $100 of proceeds to Ukraine to buy a box of cartridges.

    • OOH!! OOH!! I KNOW THIS ONE!!!

      Umm, . . . because they are virtue-signaling ignoranuses, who know f***-all about firearms???

      .300 WinMag; 7mm Magnum, .338 Lapua, or .50BMG. Or hell, let’s go SERIOUS and start sending them (as Sweden already has) Carl Gustav recoilless. While I am no particular fan of the Ukraine kleptocracy, I see no downside to sending them tank busters to whittle down the pitiful remainder of the Soviet Army.

      • Send but not give. One gunm one bushel of wheat. No IOU’s.
        Now America has a dog in this fight because Putin ain’t letting us get our wheat.
        Sanctions on(har har har) China first because they’re just going to help russia.
        Easy peasy ain’t it. WW3.
        Nope, America is just going to keep sending money and munitions to the Cranes and Russia will just keep blowing them up until we are one broke dick country importing $15 a gallon gas from OPEC and wondering why our electric bill is so high.

        • Worse it is choking off fertilizer the high gas/oil prices are one thing but you have a pretty good idea where things are going if corn/wheat/soy/other (in about that order) are not supplied as expected in the fall.

      • Well they needed something to change the narrative away from Covid and Russia expanding their territory under a Democrat president is a good enough distraction/scapegoat for our hollowed out economy, also you reminded me I need to look into 7mm Magnum more closely for fun stuff.

  15. If Miami wanted to do something and “make a difference” they would instruct every officer of Cpt. rank and above to turn in their issue weapons. Include those with the junk going to Kiev.

  16. Well, there is a simple solution:

    Just chalk up another couple billion to them. We obviously don’t need it, amiright?

    The more money they get the more likely they are to win this “war”. Right? Riiiiight…

    I mean, we don’t need healthcare reform, or homeless aid, or housing aid in general, or border security, or literally anything else… Hell, we don’t even need our own oil or electricity apparently…

    Just more proof that at this point, your tax money does fuck all. They might as well be burning it.

    • I was just talking to someone who was selling some land and excited to make some money. I asked her if she was aware of the 15% tax she had to pay on it. She wasn’t. She asked what do they do with all of that money anyway? I told her she probably doesn’t want to know.

    • If you really wanna tick people off about how .gov spends money, point out that Social Security and Medicare are now, and have been for decades, straight up welfare for retirees.

      You’ll get a lot of angry people who claim it’s not true but that’s simply because they haven’t been paying attention and there’s been no 5th estate coverage to hold .gov accountable about this. People should be outraged but mostly they are unaware.

      But the truth is that government spent the “lockbox” years ago when it was mixed with the general fund. Now, those programs are all funded 100% by money printing and direct transfer payments from workers paying the taxes. Those funds are then directed to the recipients.

      These days it’s exactly the same as welfare.

      Sucks when people spend decade after decade letting .gov do whatever it wants with zero oversight or repercussions for bad behavior but it is what it is.

  17. I’m sure other will comment similarly but when have cops ever let the law stop them from doing what they want? Cops in NY made it clear they wouldn’t abide by the SAFE Act magazine capacity limits despite there being no formal carve-out in the law for them.

    Also, I can’t imagine the Ukrainians would want a mish-mash of shitty pot-metal shotguns and Hi-Point pistols anyway.

  18. Anyone get a look at Slo Joe’s ITAR paperwork for transferring billions in real assault weapons and equipment to real terrorists??? How about their background checks???? ATF tax stamps?????

    Shocked, I tell you…..shocked. Laws for thee, not me

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