“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.

  • 17 thoughts on ““Successful” Baltimore Gun Buyback Secret: Offer more than Market Value

    1. 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 their parties and banquets?) then they wanted to ban guns to stop street gangs, then they wanted to ban guns to stop terrorists, now they just come out and say “we know whats best for you and we don’t want you to have any guns at all! It used to be the leftist politicians would say we dont want to ban your hunting guns, now they dont even mention hunting, because that’s next on their ban list. The politicians dont want anyone to be self sufficient, to have to depend on the government. We need term limits, not lifetime politicians!

    2. 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.

    3. 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 questions would be good. Do not forget private groups might have felons volunteers handling guns. See that they are arrested. Remain your officials that removing firearms from the public using any manner in order to deny public access is confiscation. Officials, most will not voluntarily provide acceptable answers, if they responded at all. Oh, get their advise on filing law suits, many of them are doctors and lawyers and such.

      1. 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.

        1. 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 them are “prohibited persons”. WHY do we have to make an appointment, march on down to the local FFL, waste an hour or more, pay $50 to $100 for a stupid phone call to the feds for PERMISSION to keep a different or additional firearm as my own?
          Used to be when I was 12, 13 years old I could ride my bike to the local Western Auto or Sears, drop a quarter on the counter and walk out with a box of fifty .22 short or long. In a strange town. First gun, I was 16, visiting cousins in another state, walked into a gun store, decided which one I wanted, a hunting rifle, dropped cash money on the counter, and walked out with the gun, hopped on my bike and rode along with my cousin back to their house. Years later I needed a .22 rifle (my old JC Higgins had been stolen, guaranteed no background check done on that “transfer”) drove across into the neighbouring state (no sales tax) pointed to a Ruger 10/.22 Carbine, wood stock, on a display stand, said “I want that one” after handling it. He put it back on the stand, walked into the back room, brought out a new one in the box, put that on the counter. I put four twenty dollar bills on the counter next to it, he rang it up, handed me my nickel change, and I walked out of the store and drove back to my state of residence. He never even knew my first name, nor where I lived. The ONLY paperwork was a simple cash register receipt for the $79.95, does not even indicate WHAT it was for. To this day no government official anywhere has any awareness of that transaction, nor that that gun even exists, let alone who has it.
          And I’m just fine with it that way.

          Funny thing is, with some stupid new laws in place if a friend is over to my house for a visit, and HE wants to try out that gun, just borring it here on my property where it is both legal and safe to shoot, we would have to grab the gun, pile into the car, drive off to some FF’L somewhere, wait in line, pay $50 to $100 to transfer it into HIS custody, though it remains MY gun, then back to my house, where he would then “legally” be able to fire a few mags full of rounds downrange….. then when HE is done, we’d have to take the gun, go BACK to an FFL, pay the money, wait, waste everyone’s time, and I, who OWN the gun, would then have to go through a background check to take possession of MY OWN RIFLE which has never left my immediate presence or control. AND if that friend happens to be visiting from California, or some other such Nazi state, he COULD NOT pass the FFL check because of California’s waiting periods, etc so he could not even legally fire that gun at all during his visit.

          Sorry, fella, THAT is what “comprehensive background checks” are all about. NO THANKS.

          Ya wanna go about four notches crazier? A new law, bought by the same traitourous busybody bought us the background check bill, performs a feat that is impossible: through some process of alchemy, that Ruger 10/.22 I paid cash for all those years ago, is now an ASSAULT RIFLE and must be registered as such, AND I now would have to go through training, certified by someone, and not yet established what that is, in order to register it as mine, though I’ve owned it for fifty years.
          Ya think I’m jumpin up and down and hollerin’ “YAY, YIPPEE, I GET TO REGISTER MY “NEW”ASSAULT RIFLE NOW”??

          Sorry to pop yer bubble (actually, I’m pleased to do it, as you badly need it done) pardner, but this sort of tripe is what the gun grabbers ARE doing to us nationwide.

        2. 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 want to be. They have political marketing specialist to elicit desired results from polls. We are not speaking solely about gun owners but all of us who have the right to own guns and all rights. Our powers-to-be should not be so bias and misleading,

          Merry Xmas and hopefully a Peaceful New Year.

    4. 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?

    5. 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, extracting, processing, manufacturing all the raw materials that combine to build the car, plus the actual total “load” in assembling, testing, transporting, distributing the finished car. And don’t forget to take into consideration the ultimate disposal and recycling the usable parts, and permanently burying the non-reusable bits. All that “load” will run the old clunker for a long time, and pollutes more in the total picture than letting the clunker run for its few remaining years…. or many years, if its still solid.

      I drive old cars…. my 20 year old van gets 18 mpg, runs like a top, uses NO oil, has over a third of a million miles on it with no signs of wear, and would cost upwards of $50,000 to replace with a new one.
      My 1977 Mercedes Diesel has 230K on it, runs like a top, uses no oil, gets 25 mpg, shows no signes of wear, and would cost upward of $30K to replace. How much diesel will that $30K buy in my market area? Almost 12,000 gallons, which will propel that car for about another 300,000 miles. Will tne new $30K car outlast that? I rather think not.

      One more charade foisted upon us by those who would tell us how we should live.

      No thanks.

      1. 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.

        1. 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 I Cards, “training”, registration, background checks for EVERY sale (that somehow magically have FAILED to prevent EVERY mass public shooter in the past half century getting their guns…… SO sensible), limitations on mag capacity, severe restrictions on owning/carrying about firearms in public, and NONE of them nor ALL OF THEM TOGETHER have prevented ANY of the mass public shootings. And so far, NO ONE has proposed any NEW “sensible” gin control laws that WOULD HAVE or COULD prevent such incidents. There is only ONE THING that has the ability to stop a mass public shooter once he has started.. and so far, NOTHING has worked to stop them from commencing.

          Unbiased? Not on your life.

          “Trusted” sources? Name them. Include the names of the people behind them, together with their political involvements, financial connexions, etc.

          NOW.. how’s about you go and do some reading of your own.. How’s about reading some of John Lott’s recent up to date work, beginning with government harvested statistics, and cmbining/comparing the several variables and proving beyond any question that more legal restrictions, “getting guns off the street”, and other INFRINGEMENTS do NOT reduce gun crime. On the other hand, more guns in the hands of private citizens DOES reduce gun violance. This is not based in “surveys” which are so easy to manipulate, but on cold hard statistics gathered nationwide by US Government agencies.

          Once again, I know a few hundred folks who own guns, and NOT ONE OF THEM favours any of these proposed, or already enacted, “common sense gun control laws” the Dems, Bloomie, Soros, Gabby, DieFie, Pelosi, Clintons He or She, or the kinyun, are pressing. We ALL know “dey doan wurk”. Meanwhile, in the name of “common sense” and “reason” the cost in dollars, time, hassle, insult, to continue keeping and bearing arms continues to accelerate, as also does the crime and violence in our culture.

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

    6. 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!

    7. 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.

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