A small gun turn in event was held on last week in Selma, Alabama. These events are characterized by the propaganda term “buy back”, but as the organizers never owned the guns in the first place, they can’t be bought back. The turn-ins have become less popular in recent years as private buyers looking for bargains frequently offer more for the more guns than the organizers. That was the case in Selma . . .
As one private buyer told selmatimesjournal.com,
My name is Robert W. Kennedy Jr. and I am the founding member of BamaCarry..I offered more money.
Most of the guns were garbage..They refused to purchase broken guns..I was able to make quite a few good purchases..Rifles and Pistols..
I cannot wait for the next sale..
The event paid for 51 guns at $75 each. They didn’t come close to using the $5,000 that they had collected to pay people to give up their guns. And the organizers weren’t happy with the presence of private buyers.
The private buyers also set up a video camera as some have been harassed by police at previous gun turn-ins. It appears, though, that the First and Second Amendment activists were successful:
Police Chief John Brock said the group filmed from public property and does the same thing at other gun buy backs. He said they travel around buying antique guns that have high resell value.
“They are in it for a profit. They are looking for something worth more than several hundred dollars,” Brock said.
Brock said they also could sue government and law enforcement that interfere with their filming or buying.
“They sue people. They want people to tell them to leave. Everything they were doing was legal,” Brock said. “It’s perfectly legal to sell a gun … if I made them leave, there would be a lawsuit.”
In a post to bamacarry.org’s page on Facebook, Kennedy, who was open carrying, said that he offered to talk to a reporter, but that he was turned down.
WSFA Montgomery was also there for a few minutes but never spoke with us or filmed us. When I approached the reporter he refused to explain why. I handed him a business card and jokingly thanked him for unbiased reporting..
Numerous academic studies have found that thee events have no measurable effect on crime. The guns collected tend to be exactly the opposite of those used by criminals, and the people who turn them in are usually law abiders. The events’ primary purpose seems to be political theater, to drive home the narrative that “guns are bad”, “more guns = more crime”, and “only the police should have firearms”.
The presence of private buyers undercuts the narrative by showing that guns are useful, that responsible, law abiding people value them, and that turning guns into the police is a way to lose a valuable item that could be worth more on the legal market.
If the real point were to remove guns from a crime-ridden neighborhoods, the organizers would have been wise to cooperate with the private purchasers. The guns would still have been removed from the neighborhood, the sellers would receive more for their firearms and the guns would end up in responsible hands.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.