By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- There will be a gun turn in event in Benton Harbor, Michigan, on Saturday, 23 August, 2014.
While these events are commonly labelled with the propaganda term “buyback” the guns were never owned by the people attempting to buy them.
The event will be held at Berrien County Health Department Environmental Health building, 2106 S. M-139, Benton Harbor; and the Niles Berrien County Health Department office at 1205 N. Front St.
The event is scheduled to run from 10 am to noon. People often turn up early at these events.
The incentive for the gun turn in is a $50 Walmart gift card. From heraldballadium.com:
This year's participants will receive a $50 Walmart gift card for each working firearm exchanged, which can be used toward the purchase of any merchandise except alcohol, tobacco or other firearms and ammunition.
Ammunition clips or other firearm accessories will be accepted for disposal; however, no gift cards will be issued for these items.
There have been previous turn in events in Berrien County. The article claims that over 1000 working firearms have been turned in since 1995.
This event is said to be “no questions asked”, but only for people who are turning in a gun. Private buyers may be questioned by the police.
Private sales of firearms in Michigan are covered by this wikihow.com article. Laws change, so Michigan private buyers should perform their own research to conform with the law.
Private buyers should look for easy places for people to park so that the merchandise can be looked at prior to purchase. Often people bring several guns to these turn in events. As the event is scheduled for two hours at two locations, one location might be much better than the other. Local knowledge would be very helpful. The event organizers are asking people who are turning in guns to put them in the trunk of their vehicle:
Firearms brought to the gun buyback sites must be unloaded and transported in the trunk, locked container or rear of the vehicle inaccessible to the occupant.
You might want to read the insider story by private buyers in Jacksonville Florida to see how things were handled there.
Be prepared for a percentage of people who refuse to talk to anyone but police. All the private buyers that I saw at gun turn ins were polite and let ideologically driven people turn in their guns for a fraction of what they would be worth on the open market.
Signs are helpful, as are good grooming, cash, and a friendly attitude. Dale Carnegie's advise for dealing with people works very well. Risks of purchasing stolen guns are small. You can read about them at this article.
Across the country, communities, police departments and churches are sponsoring gun turn-ins to get “guns off the street”. At many of these events, private buyers are showing up, offering cash for the more valuable guns. These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery card or a number of twenty dollar bills.
You can help make the turn-in in your area more effective by standing on the curb with your “Cash for Guns” sign, or at a folding table, willing to offer more than the gift card for firearms that are more valuable. It would be best if numerous private parties were available, as more good guns could then be transferred into responsible hands.
This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility. It is a win-win-win situation. The ideal situation for those organizing the turn in would be to allow private buyers to purchase the valuable guns, while having the organizers take the cheap guns “off the streets”. As these events are ideologically driven, that seems unlikely, but it might be worth an attempt at outreach. All parties would benefit.
Private buyers dispel the pernicious message that guns are bad and should be destroyed.
- Link to potential legal risk of buying a gun at one of these events
- Link to article with numerous examples of private sales at gun turn in events
- Link to an article about private buyers at Detroit event
- Link to Phoenix Article: pictures of private buyers
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.