By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Jacksonville, Florida has been running gun turn-in “buy back” events for a bit over a year now. The events stand outside of the norm for a number of reasons.
First, they are funded by a private donor.
Second, the money offered is at the low end for these events – $50 for all types of guns.
Third, the Sheriff’s Office, which runs the events, specifically reserves the right to determine if guns are “collectible“. Those guns are not destroyed. While it is to the credit of the Sheriff’s Office that it does not wantonly destroy valuable guns, I have not seen an explanation as to how the guns that are not destroyed are disposed of.
Last, the private donor has now changed the rules a bit, donating $50 to the Police Athletic League for every gun turned in, as well as the $50 to the private seller. The Police Athletic League appears to be a genuine philanthropic organization. It is a twist I have not seen before on these gun turn in schemes, and it is interesting.
When I was researching the Jacksonville gun turn in stories, I came across some information about private buyers at the events. There wasn’t much, but it was enough to arouse my curiosity. My experience is that the old media tend to downplay or disparage the presence of private buyers. In response to the article, I received inside information about private buyers at the Jacksonville gun turn in events.
Here is the story that the old media did not report. Unfortunately, my source was uncomfortable about sharing photos.
At the first event, a little over a year ago, about 20 to 30 private buyers crowded the sidewalk offering to pay more than the $50 dollar premium for the firearms. The event was set up so that the people turning in the guns had to go across the public sidewalk that the private buyers were on, thus enabling them to hear the offers of the private buyers. My source informs me that a number of good deals were made to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller. About 100-150 guns were privately purchased for amounts between $50 to $300. An SKS was purchased for $90, a Smith and Wesson .357 for $250, a stainless Ruger Single Six for $150, and many other deals.
A positive part of the Jacksonville Sheriff Officers (JSO) presence was their acknowledgement that the private sales were legal. This helped encourage private sellers. I saw the same thing happen at the recent gun turn in event in Milwaukee.
After the first event, the JSO reacted by making access by private buyers more and more difficult.
At the second event, JSO arranged to it to have the turn in take place on a large church property, excluding any private buyers from the property, thus making it difficult for private sellers to be aware of them or to access them. The private buyers were relegated to standing across the street with signs advertising their intentions. This time there were 50-60 private buyers. They managed to make a number of good deals including a competition .38 revolver for $100, an AK-47 semiautomatic clone for $60, an NAA mini-revolver, black powder model, for $60, and large numbers of more ordinary items. The total was about 100-150 guns purchased privately.
At the third event, the JSO found a church with an even bigger property that extended to both sides of the road; the private buyers found a closed shopping center parking lot in the direction that most of gun sellers were coming from. At this event there were from 100-120 private buyers. They had many large signs saying “Bring Your Guns Here” or “Cash for Guns”. Many .22 rifles were purchased for $60-$100, a couple of pump shotguns for $60-$160, a Beretta 92FS in good shape for $150. The total number of guns purchased by private buyers was about 200-300.
At the last event, the JSO arranged the location to be even more difficult for private buyers. The location was on one side of a four lane road, requiring private buyers to either set up on the other side or more than a 1/4 mile away. There were about 50 private buyers at this event. A German .357 revolver was purchased for $150, a Kel-Tec P3AT for $70, an NAA .22 mag revolver for $140. Because of the the location, only 100 guns were privately purchased.
Not surprisingly, this event netted the largest number of guns for the FSO, 693.
The private buyers self organized and used the FDLE system to check serial numbers for stolen guns at the events. A total of 8-10 guns turned out to be stolen and were sent to the turn-in events, with about the same number of sawed off shotguns. This level of stolen firearms is not unusual for these events; at many events the number is less than one percent. One suspect transaction occurred when a private buyer purchased a revolving shotgun which the BATF had reclassified as a “destructive device” requiring a federal tax stamp. A tip was turned in to the police, but it appears that nothing came of it.
The JSO officers were generally polite and professional. At the end of the last event, most of the private buyers had left; only a few remained, cleaning up. An officer, who said that she did not know that a turn in event was occurring, accused the remaining private purchasers of illegal activity. She claimed that they had to have a peddlers license (not true) and permission to use the parking lot they were at (which they had already arranged). Another officer showed up and gently informed the first officer that she was mistaken. The second officer had been working the turn in event, and he did some community outreach by talking guns with the private buyers before the officers left. The “peddlers license” ploy was used to intimidate private buyers at a “buy back” in North Carolina.
My source believes that the availability of recorders and YouTube are partly responsible for the good behavior of the JSO officers.
The Jacksonville Gun Traders (JGT), has been strongly involved in all the turn in events. At the last event, most of the private buyers were wearing JGT T-shirts. The JGT is made up of local residents. One has to live within one hour of Jacksonville to join. They have over 4,000 members!
It has become emblematic of the the old media to ignore responses such as the large number of private buyers at these events. After noting the response at the first event, I did not find any other mention of private buyers, except for one post buried far down on the FSO facebook page.
The first commandment of propaganda is to control the flow of information. It is considered the most important one. Those who resist control by an elite do not have the resources to control the flow of information, but they can contest control by providing alternate sources. Alternate sources of information are what have made the gun culture a powerful force in American political life.
For those who would learn more about this theory of resistance, I recommend “Rise of the Anti-Media“. Professor Brian Anse Patrick explains it much better than I can.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.