“Successful” Baltimore Gun Buyback Secret: Offer more than Market Value

Semi-Automatic Rifles turned in at Baltimore

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- The city of Baltimore spent a reported $250,000 dollars to purchase over 500 unwanted guns in a “buyback” program.

“Buyback” is an Orwellian propaganda term. You cannot buy back things you never owned in the first place.

The Baltimore program was “successful” in that it collected over 500 firearms to be destroyed. It “worked” for two basic reasons.

First, it offered more money than most of the guns were worth on the open market.

Second, the state of Maryland has made it difficult to buy and sell guns legally and privately. There was little competition for the few guns brought in that were worth more than the government was offering. The inconvenience factor of finding a legal buyer, gave incentive to people who wanted to dispose of a gun.

Most of the guns turned in are those seldom used in crime. Paying $200 for semi-automatic .22 rifles that cost $99 and less when new (and are still widely available for less than $150) is stupid and counterproductive.

One gun collector in a wheelchair brought in a rusty old bolt shotgun barreled action. It might be worth $10 at a gun show. He got $100.

A rusty old bolt shotgun barreled action.
A rusty old bolt shotgun barreled action.

People were paid $100 for revolvers that were turned in. Most of those pictured were worth $50 or less on the market. Several were inexpensive models that cost less than $30 when new.

People were paid $100 for revolvers that were turned in. Most of those pictured were worth $50 or less on the market.
People were paid $100 for revolvers that were turned in. Most of those pictured were worth $50 or less on the market.

One 80-year-old woman brought in a revolver worth maybe $30. She will get $100 for it. Many of the people bringing in guns were older women who did not want to deal with the firearms. It is a common story. The husband dies, and the widow gets rid of the guns. Sometimes collections worth tens of thousands of dollars are given to police, simply to get rid of them.

One 80-year-old woman brought in a revolver worth maybe $30. She will get $100 for it.
One 80-year-old woman brought in a revolver worth maybe $30. She will get $100 for it.

Most of the guns were inexpensive older .22 rifles and inexpensive old shotguns. Many of them seem of doubtful utility or reliability. The were likely hunting guns that belonged to the grandparents of the current Baltimore residents.

What does the City of Baltimore get for its quarter million dollar investment?

Camera time on the news, and virtue signaling that “guns are bad”.

One woman was frank about her motivation in turning in her inexpensive 9mm. The woman is going to use the $200 to purchase a bigger, better gun.

Numerous academics have pointed out how ineffective these programs are. From Freakonomics:

When it comes to gun buybacks, both the theory and the data could not be clearer in showing that they don’t work. The only guns that get turned in are ones that people put little value on anyway. There is no impact on crime. On the positive side, the “cash for clunkers” program is more attractive than the gun buyback program because, as long as they are being driven, old cars pollute, whereas old guns just sit there.

It seems unlikely the propaganda from the program will be effective.

How will future historians treat such programs. Will they see them as sacrificial rituals to the god of “Whirled Peas” ?

Some say it is better for politicians who want the population disarmed, to spend this money on foolish programs, than to be used on enforcement of gun bans.

It probably does not matter. To the politicians, it is other people's money, and they do not see it as running out.


About Dean Weingarten: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.

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    gedzaJACMACPatriot guyTionicoThe Green Watch Dog Recent comment authors
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    gedza
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    gedza

    they expect criminals to give up their fixed assets??

    Patriot guy
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    Patriot guy

    We need term limits, not lifetime politicians! We don’t need politicians telling us whats good for us. These are the same politicians that are now pushing to have Lithium and Prozac put in our drinking water. They say its for your own good and if it stops just one suicide that it is worth it. When you look over the years, first the politicians wanted to Ban handguns to stop bank robbers, then they wanted guns to stop crime, then they wanted to ban guns to stop cocaine dealers (I wonder how many of these lifetime politicians serve cocaine at… Read more »

    Colonialgirl
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    Colonialgirl

    I wonder if ANY of the “officials” running this asinine program have an FFL, filled out a 4473 form and waited for clearance to buy the firearms. Working for the GOVERNMENT DOES NOT authorize or give you clearance to purchase firearms.

    Jack Mac
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    Jack Mac

    People in Baltimore don’t need a fence to give fraction on the value for stolen guns. I suggest that officials allowing gun buy-back projects be questioned and forced to answer, if possible on procedures. Example: Why no questions asked? Is this to protect the honest only? Are the police reviewing theft reports on the firearms, and if so are they notifying owners? Are people advised to have FFLs appraisals, or that many firearms hold far more value than offered? What is the source of funds and will these guns be offer at auction (if not, why not)? These plus other… Read more »

    The Green Watch Dog
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    The Green Watch Dog

    Good points Jack Mack,
    Precise, accurate records are impressive. As well all are aware, gun rights, and ownership come with responsibilities. More so,than most other responsibility. Safety is priority number one! Gun owners who are in the middle often voice complaints that they are not polled, yet polls show their support comprehensive background checks. Although this topic can be controversial for some, the majority have rights as others in our great nation. Whether the right, left, or middle ground, have a very Merry Blessed Christmas!
    And, be safe out there. The GWD.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    Gun owners who are in the middle often voice complaints that they are not polled, yet polls show their support comprehensive background checks. I call FOUL!! WHO did the polling? WHAT was the population, or sample base, queried? WHAT were the questions? HOW many were polled? WHAT are their demographics? WHERE was the polling done? I’m old enough to have bought a number of guns before NICS. I know a few hundred gun owners. NOT ONE OF US favours background checks for every sale. I have bought and sold firearms with individuals I’ve known for years, NO WAY any of… Read more »

    JACMAC
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    JACMAC

    Look at some questions asked. Is gun control important to you? It does not provide choices of answer. Such Yes, I don’t want any. Do yoy want to stop gun violence? Instead of do you want to stop illegal violence? It would seem they are asking what kind of violence one would you rather have. Setting people on fire with gasoline? Strangling with wire? Bashing with hammers? Explosions? There are more efficient methods to cause death than shooting bullets. Most who say the majority agree do not know that because they are not in touch with the population or do… Read more »

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    I understand Baltimore have one of the worst records for street maintenance in the country, somewhat on a par with Portland Oregon. How many tire-busing potholes could that quarter mill repair?

    Their priorities are all messed up, but then we knew that going in, didn’t we?

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    On the positive side, the “cash for clunkers” program is more attractive than the gun buyback program because, as long as they are being driven, old cars pollute, whereas old guns just sit there. typical PC nonsense from a liberal site….. perhaps those “old clunkers” might produse marginally more “pollution” (depending on how that term is defined for the particular case) per mile as they operate, but when one considers the “envronmental cost” (a real thing….) of manufacturing a new car to replace it, it becomes a net loss in the “pollutioin equatioin”. You must consider the energy expended locating,… Read more »

    The Green Watch Dog
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    The Green Watch Dog

    Don’t shoot the messenger Tionico, Numerous publications published that most Americans support sensible gun control. Studies that are unbiased and from trusted sources. On such source is the American Journal of Public Health, an excellent study. I am one that supports our right to own arms.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    Not firing at the messenger, but blasting at the message. “Numerous publications published that most Americans support sensible gun control. Studies that are unbiased and from trusted sources” WHICH publications? Are you not aware that something like only six corporations, all “of a certain political bent”, own more than 90% of all US media? I don’t care WHAT they “published” as a statement, I want to see the work behind those statements. I seriously question it as unreliable. DEFINE “sensible” giun control. We already have something like 23,000 “sensible” gun control laws, including waiting oeriods, age limitations, requred Mpother May… Read more »

    Macofjack
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    Macofjack

    I’ve got a broken Heritage .22lr they can give me double back for! LOL

    MB
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    MB

    Your tax dollars to purchase you property. Genius ! NOT!

    Wild Bill
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    Wild Bill

    @MB, Yes, only a bureaucrat spending someone else’s money would think this is a good idea! Merry Christmas, and some Happy New Firearms!

    Ron
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    Ron

    No telling now many antique or close to being of real collector value firearms are turned in. (crunch) Makes me shudder.

    joefoam
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    joefoam

    Reminds me of the bulk trash pickup the city runs every quarter here except you get paid for your trash. Article nails the facts, guns turned in will have zero effect on crime but the city fathers will hail it as a victory against ‘gun violence’ Yea we did something vote for me!

    The Green Watch Dog
    Guest
    The Green Watch Dog

    Government waste that we pay for, but good for those selling off their junk. Should have been there. Gun shows I have been to sell for top dollar and it cost money to go in! The old WWI guns I have would have brought the same. Instead of a buy back program, suggest to register for those that only want to come to the table and do so. Pro gun enthusiast can stay home.