By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The Fulton County Sheriff's Office is attempting to organize a gun turn in event in Atlanta, Georgia. They hope to raise $100,000 to fund the event. Two years ago, $40,000 was raised for a turn in event that brought in about a thousand firearms. That event had competition from private buyers, who got some good deals.
There is a gofundme link for the event at the Sheriff Department website, but the link is not working. A correspondent says that the site raised $130 before it was closed. At the Sheriff Department site, Sheriff Ted Jackson states his support for the concept of gun turn ins. The events are not really “buy backs” because the people buying the firearms never owned them before. From the Sheriff Department site:
Sheriff Ted Jackson agrees, “Gun Buy Back programs are effective deterrents to violence in our communities. Public safety depends upon gun owners being responsible with firearms. Proper disposal of weapons is a big part of that. This initiative will provide a safe way to discard unwanted weapons and members of the community can do their part to protect their neighbors from harm.”
The event was originally scheduled for 9 June, 2016, but the date has been slipped. It may be that money has been hard to come by or the event has been more challenging to organize than previously thought.
Under Georgia law, the guns taken in by law enforcement can not be legally destroyed. They are required to be sold at auction every six months. Presumably, the last 1,000 guns taken in have been sold or are sitting in storage, somewhere.
The Atlanta police department is sitting on at least 6,000 guns as of six months ago. They have probably added another thousand since then. They simply refuse to obey the law. Currently, there are no penalties for the City's scoff-law actions.
The Sheriff may be considering where he will store the additional 3,000 guns that he hopes to get from this turn in event.
A writer on ar15.com states that the Sheriff department has moved the date back to at least 19 July. Turn in events have traditionally been held on weekends to maximize participation. The move to the middle of the week might be an attempt to cut down competition from private buyers. If the Sheriff department is going to sell the turned in weapons, they could make more profit.
A number of turn in events have brought in individual firearms worth thousands of dollars, but the average gun turned in brings about $150. The Sheriff department is expecting people to donate $100,000 for gift cards to gain 3,000 firearms. They could make close to a half million dollars from the event.
If the Sheriff chooses to violate the law and not sell the firearms within six months, then the department will be required to store them for future sales. I doubt that the Sheriff is allowed to simply destroy valuable public property through negligence. There are civil and criminal penalties for that sort of irresponsible behavior.
Georgia Second Amendment supporters are planning to offer cash to people bringing guns to the event. Any working gun is worth more than $50. Nicer guns could bring several hundred, and rare ones, thousands.
The private buyers provide a service for the whole community. Poor widows get closer to market value for the firearms they wish to be rid of. More funds are available to the people organizing the turn in event to buy rusted, broken, and unsafe guns.
The Arizona legislature passed legislation to prevent the senseless destruction of valuable assets from gun turn in events a couple of years ago, following the Georgia example. Disarmists claimed that it meant there would be no more gun turn in events, because they would not be able to destroy guns that were turned in. As far as is known, no turn in events have been held in Arizona since the law was passed.
The Fulton County Sheriff may have a better understanding of reality. With the possibility of turning a handsome profit from this event, there are plenty of reasons for him to move forward with it. An actual date, time and place would be nice. People need time to make plans to attend.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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.