The city of Cleveland is bucking the national trend away from gun “buy backs”. They hold one every year, whether they they’re “successful” or not. This years buyback was scheduled for last week with very little notice given. At least one Second Amendment support group, Ohioans for Concealed Carry, predicted a low turnout for the event.
Jeff Garvas, founder of the group, said the short notice for the Sunday event may not motivate people to exchange their weapons for gift card incentives.
The Ohioans for Concealed Carry have protested the event in years past, but Garvas said there are no plans to hold an organized protest this year. Garvas said that he guarantees gun-rights advocates and collectors will be there trying to buy firearms before citizens exchange them.
Garvas was right. Last year, the 2015 turn-in event collected about 200 guns. It’s unknown how many were purchased by private buyers. Among those relinquished last year was this Winchester Model 94 lever gun.
It caught my eye because it features a nice scope on a side mount. Now it’s been melted down. I have never seen a story of street crime committed with a scoped Model 94 and don’t expect to.
In 2014, the turn-in organizers snagged 270 guns. At the same event, private buyers came away with 100 of the best that were brought in.
Last week private buyers again worked at saving good guns from a bad fate, even though turnout was down. Police collected 168 guns with the help of Mr. Meanor the Elf, above.
As in years past, several private buyers lined up nearby with signs reading “Cash 4 Guns,” looking for interesting or historical pieces. Dan Smith from Streetsboro was there, and says gun buybacks should be operated a little differently so rare pieces are not destroyed.
“We operate police auctions all the time; they sell cars and everything else. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to dispose of firearms at an auction at fair market value and make some money for the city and get these guns to people who are actually going to take care of them and be responsible with them.”
It’s unknown how many guns the private buyers saved from being melted down this year. Maybe next year the police will give a little more notice. That seems to work out better for both the city and the private buyers looking for a bargain.
It would be nice to see some cooperation to encourage private buyers to “work the line”. That would result in more guns “off the streets” and stretch the resources of police allowing them to collect guns that no one is willing to pay cash for.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.