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Rick Ector takes a back seat to no one in his advocacy for Second Amendment rights. His latest caper: staking out a Detroit gun buyback with some like-minded buddies across the street from St. Cecilia Catholic Church and offering to pay those who showed up more than the measly $25 to $100 being offered inside. They didn’t get many takers, though. That may have been due to the thin blue line of intimidation thrown up in the middle of the street by the cops . . .

Ector organized the “protest” for the same reasons we think buybacks are such a bad idea.

We want “to send the message that guns are not evil, despite what the government and police are saying,” Ector said “Guns do not cause crime; bad people cause crime.

“There’s a lot of reasons (gun buybacks) are flat out wrong. For one, it’s not going to change anything with regards to violent crime in the city of Detroit; two, potentially you have criminals who are destroying evidence along with the Detroit Police Department.”

But the DPD wanted to make it clear – in no uncertain terms – that crossing the street to see what they could get for their firearm from Ector’s group was a bad idea.

Between the activists and residents awaiting to sell their unwanted guns, stood a row of five police in the center of the street.

“The police are obviously putting a wall, a barricade, between us and the people who are in line,” Ector said. “It’s a form of intimidation.”

And anyone asking the cops about the legality of selling to another individual got this answer:

“It’s illegal for them to make a purchase,” said Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens from inside the church. “They have to have a permit to do it. So if they’re caught, they’re going to be in trouble.

“If you’re on a public street, you have to have a permit to do it.”

We tried to verify that using our extensive Google-fu skills but they failed us. So we went directly to Rick. Here’s his side of the story.

In short, to buy a rifle or shotgun in Michigan is super simple – cash and carry. There are no registrations required for long guns. Of course, felons can’t buy, own, or possess a firearm. No one from our group fell into that class of people. For handguns a person needs either a Pistol Purchase Permit from their police department – which requires a background check and passing an exam OR a valid state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License and the completion of a Pistol Sales Record Form. No laws were broken at the event. Either the spokes(man) didn’t know the know which is not unbelievable or the reporter “wrote it wrong.”

Hmm. Either the cop didn’t know the law, he lied about it or a trained journalist made a boo-boo.

According to one report, the buyback took in 365 guns. But that’s down from 500 or more in the previous three. Rick’s still tallying how many guns his group took in. Stay tuned for the grand total.

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  1. OH geez..
    Well good for them for making the statement. To bad they didn’t have many takers. Also good that it is dropping off. Eventually they will get the point, but it may take a while.

  2. I was there and I took an assorted 7 home with me. Some great, some which (after closer examination) make me want my money back.

    • Just wondering, but were any of the other buy backers black? Care to comment on the racial statistics of those who sold guns to you guys?

        • Because I was surprised to not see any in the pictures in the news article, with Detroit being 80+% black.

      • OTHER buy backers? I was on my own off to the side, so I don’t know, but I’m not black. I’m of Mexican descent, if you think that matters at all.
        I do want to point out that one cop came to get in my business during a pistol purchase, yelling at me me and demanding to see my ID (I complied because I had a concealed pistol in addition to the openly carried one on my hip), my “business license”, and telling the other people how what we were trying to do was illegal unless I had some sort of license as a business. I told the lady to keep filling out my forms, handed the cop my ID and then promptly ignored him until he realized he had to either give it back and drive away, or pursue a losing case against me.

        • I had to read it a couple times to understand, but I’m pretty sure that matt didn’t mean that you were black (NTTAWTT), he was simply asking if any of the other gun buyers happened to be black.

          I’d really love to have seen a picture looking down the street with the church on one side, y’all on the other and the cops in the middle.

  3. all i see sticking out of the containers are long arms, which account for less killings than fists if i’m quoting the right stat. can,t tell from the picture if any handguns were turned in.

    • It sure is. There’s a bill past the house and on it’s way to the senate doing away with handgun registration all together in Michigan. House Bills 5225, 5498 and 5499.

      We just got rid of registration of “Michigan Pistols” which are rifles which have a >16″ barrel but are not more than 30″ in total length. i.e. folding stock rifles, the scary black ones. That becomes law Jan 1 2013. The interesting part of that situation is that a CPL holder could register a rifle with a short stock as a pistol (until Jan 01 2013) and conceal it in their car for the length of time their CPL and registration of the ‘pistol’ is valid. The exact same rifle purchased Jan 1 2013 would be illegal to have loaded in a vehicle.

  4. Good for the buyback. Look at all those evil guns…lord knows how many gangland drive-by bolt-action shootings they just prevented. Looks like the Weatherby Warriors and the 39th Street Springfields will be out of action for a bit.

    If the police really wanted to stop violence and murder, they should’ve confiscated all the cars that drove by. And then disarmed themselves.

  5. “The police are obviously putting a wall, a barricade, between us and the people who are in line,” Ector said. “It’s a form of intimidation.”

    Well, the Detroit cops have to intimidate somebody, and since the criminals aren’t intimidated, I guess that law-abiding citizens will just have to do.

    • I’m not able to apologize on the behalf of another police agency, but there are times when I wish I could. I used to be neutral towards gun buybacks, but now I am strongly opposed to them. I haven’t seen any in my necks of the woods, but it would be nice to see $$$ diverted from the anti-gun machine and used towards firearm education like it was in one of the previous TTAG posts.

      And in case a certain person from TTAG asks me again, yes I have confiscated guns and cars. However, one would have to commit at least a misdemeanor to get a firearm confiscated, and would get it back once they are sober or out of jail unless the nature of their crime made future firearm ownership illegal.

  6. A cop lie or attempt to intimidate? A journalist make a mistake? Please say it ain’t so. Otherwise, those wood stocks are classic.

  7. I’m curious (not really) how the police would react if next time there was a line of armed citizens between the people bringing guns and the people running the buyback. Yet another example of how the police can do any damn thing they please with no consequences.

  8. I have a mosin-nagant that doesn’t work right. I need to find a gun buy back program so I can clear some space in my safe. That’s what they want, right? My broken guns?

    • I have a Nagant that works damn well on feral hogs, want to buy mine back or do I want to buy yours back?? Could use some spare parts!!!
      The local paper here had a pic of the Detroit buy back on page 9 or 10 and the DPD officer was holding what looked like a nice Remington 700 wood stock 30-06 with iron sights!!
      Who ever the photog was did get a good pic but the caption was kind of screwy: Detroit Police hold a successful gun buy back program to remove assault weapons like the one the DPD officer above is holding.
      All I coul do was look at the photo and think…. What the hell is he talking about???
      BTW if you are serious about getting rid of that Nagant contact me at: [email protected]
      Put broke Nagant in the subject line, and let me know if it has any usable parts and I might take it off of your hands!!! Got any spare parts for a 1914 Mauser New Model(2nd model) 6.35mm(.25auto) pocket pistol??? 🙂 🙂

    • i deliberately destroyed a mosin nagant 44 with one of those torture test. i bought this one at a gun show for less than 50 bucks along with a 91-30 for about the same price. found out i didn’t like the short barreled 44 with the permanent bayo. at no point during the “testing” did that carbine fail to fire. it just got to the point i was afraid to shoot it.

      i took it and another broken rifle, a rimfire, to a gun buyback where they were giving a 100 bucks cash for each gun. that 44 looked so bad that when i went to hand it off to the cop he pulled on gloves before taking it.

  9. As a Michigander, in most large cities here it is illegal to buy or sell goods on a public road, sidewalk, or yard without a buyer/seller permit (Guns Included?)

    I.E. In East Lansing it is illegal to buy or sell football tickets on the public sidewalks within the city without a permit from the city even though the police do not necessarily enforce this law it is still illegal.

    I believe these old laws were put into effect to reduce solicitors

    Im sure there is a similar law in place for Detroit, home of the Lions, Tigers, and Wings which would allow the police to prevent sales/purchases without the proper buyer/seller permit from the city.

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