Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- A week ago, I wrote about the Crawfordsville, Indiana “buyback”. The gun turn in event (you cannot “buyback” what you never owned) happened on 28 April, 2018. From the previous article:
The event will be held at the Crawfordsville Police Department from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crawfordsville is about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis. From journalreview.com:
Residents can turn in semi-automatic rifles, bump stocks or large-capacity clips in an upcoming program sponsored by a local church.
Wabash Avenue Presbyterian invites owners to take the weapons and accessories to the Crawfordsville Police Department from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28. All items turned in will be melted down at Nucor Steel.
Owners will receive a $100 gift card from Kroger or County Market for guns and a $25 gift card for accessories.
No permit is required to purchase guns in Indiana.
Gift cards of $100 will be given for each “assault style” gun turned in. $25 will be given for accessories such as bump stocks and “high capacity magazines”. This is a generous offer for magazines. I suspect the gift cards to run out very quickly.
The local tribstar.com accurately quoted the Ammoland article. From the tribstar.com:
Last week, Dean Weingarten, writing for Arizona-based Ammoland.com posted a commentary recommending, “If you have some old magazines, you might want to turn them in and order excellent new standard-capacity magazines for going rates of $9-$15 each.”
He also wrote, “You can help make the turn-in in Indiana 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.”
It happened much as I predicted. The event organizers quickly changed from offering $25 per magazine to only offering $25 for all the magazines a person had. Then they changed the definition of magazines they would accept to those that held over 30 rounds. In the end, they only purchased two magazines. From ingunowners.com, post by rhino:
There were maybe 20 others over the course of the two hours who were there to purchase or to potentially educate and engage in conversation about the individual's rights to keep and bear arms. We had people from Lafayette, Indianapolis, the Covington area, some locals, and even three people who came all the way from Crown Point!
Police were coming and going regularly for their duties. One officer was near the buyback table for a while, but I did not speak with him. The only interaction with the police that I noticed was me waving to guys I know. Churchmouse the Bully owes me some cheeseburgers.
I wasn't keeping track of the stuff being brought in, but I saw maybe 10 people who brought something. At some point they decided to only trade Kroger cards if the magazine held more than 30 rounds. Someone gave them a very nice SKS, but that seemed to be the only item of real value that was collected.
A reporter from FOX59 was there and he interviewed people from both sides. I expect an even-handed accounting of the scene from him!
The closest thing to “trouble” was one of the people involved in the buyback making some comments to the group as he passed. He said to someone in the group “gun are your god,” and he just wasn't a very pleasant person.
By contrast, the church's pastor was very kind and pleasant. He had a big box of fresh donuts from a local bakery and be made a point of coming to our small groups to offer donuts and was genuinely a nice guy. If more people on that side of the rights issue behaved that way, the world would be a much better place. I never met him before today, but I like that man.
According to participants from ingunowners.com, one semiautomatic centerfire rifle was turned in. It was a standard Norinco SKS with a fixed 10 round magazine. The owner was offered $250 for the rifle, purchase to be made by an Indiana resident with a License to Carry Concealed Handgun, in front of police officers. The owner spurned the $250 and turned in the rifle to be destroyed.
Maybe he made a promise to turn it in. I have been at other events where people turn in valuable firearms to be destroyed, for ideological reasons.
The organizers refused to accept AR lower receivers (which are legally defined as firearms) for $100. Only two firearms were accepted. The presence of private buyers changed the tone of the event.
One of the two organizers of the event, Mike Hadley, turned in two of his personal guns. They appeared to be a J.C. Higgens model 33 pump action .22 and a rusty Stevens single shot shotgun.
Other people brought in the two other guns. One was the SKS.
The other long gun was a .22 Mitchell 15-22. $25 was given for it. Scott L. Miley, reporting for the Tribune Star, called it a “semi-automatic .22-caliber shotgun”. It has rifle sights. Real .22 semi-automatic shotguns are very rare. In 50 years I cannot recall ever encountering one. The organizers paid $25 each for two magazines.
The pistol mentioned was an old .22 blank pistol, turned in for $25. I could not identify the blank pistol positively. It is very similar to the German Rohm series of RG2 – RG5 blank firing alarm guns.
That was the sum of what was turned in (Hadleys personal guns are not in the picture).
Other than the “semi-automatic .22-caliber shotgun” gaffe, Scott L. Miley did a good job covering the event. It would be nice to see more honest reporters like him covering these events.
A half block away, a hunter advertising to buy guns bought at least three. From tribstar.com:
Half a block away, a hunter, Douglas Gallapoo, held a sign reading, “I pay cash. I pay more.” He paid $220 to people who came to the trade-in program but instead sold their guns.
“I'm afraid some of these collectors are getting guns melted down for $100 and it's just not worth it,” Gallapoo said. “If I could save a few of them it would be worth it to me.”
In the video, Gallapoo is shown with three .22 caliber rifles in his back seat. It seems he collected more functional firearms than the “buyback” did. A blank pistol is not a firearm.
Second Amendment supporters and gun collectors turned this “buyback” from a propaganda event celebrating the destruction of cultural artifacts, to an educational event combating ignorance about firearms and the gun culture.
It has been happening all over the country. It is why such events are dying out.
Ordinary gun shows work better to provide a way for people to dispose of unwanted guns. A gun show is, in a sense, a free market version of a gun turn in or “buyback” event. The difference is, gun shows make a profit, do not waste police resources, give market value for valuable items, and put guns into responsible hands from those who do not want them.
©2018 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.