UPDATE: Miami Police Try to Explain Their Illegal Gun Buyback

AR15 pile of Guns Rifles SMG iStock FabrikaCr 949369336
AR15 pile of Guns Rifles SMG iStock FabrikaCr 949369336

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The Miami Police Department currently has no export licenses or permits to ship firearms to Ukraine, but they’re working on getting some, or at least they claim they are.

In a story published Wednesday, we revealed how the department has a gun buyback scheduled for Saturday, which they’re calling “GUNS 4 UKRAINE.” Miami Police spokeswoman Officer Kenia Fallat said that the weapons collected at the buyback would be shipped to Ukraine for use in their ongoing war against the Russian military.

Their plan was fraught with legal entanglements since shipping firearms to a foreign country without the proper paperwork violates federal law, specifically the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, known as ITAR. The plan also violates state law, specifically Florida Statute 790.08, which regulates what police can do with firearms or other weapons that come under their control. Shipping guns to a foreign military is not one of the options allowed by the statute.

During her interview, Officer Fallat asked for written questions, which were provided to her. She provided the following written responses today:

Does Miami PD have a firearm export license?

“NO. However, at the June 9, 2021 Commission Meeting, the City of Miami adopted Resolution R-22-0219 directing the City Manager to “take any and all action to work with federal authorities to ship any functional weapon received through the City’s Gun Buyback program to Ukraine for use in the conflict against the Russian invasion.” The directive to take “any and all action to work with federal authorities” may include, but is not limited to, the procurement of an export license in accordance to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) including conformity to the requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); any guidance from the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls regarding AECA export controls and licensing for articles enumerated on the U.S. Munitions List; any relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); and/or compliance with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security export controls for items listed in the Commerce Control List (including firearms) pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations; and/or compliance with the National Firearms Act including any application to obtain a permit for permanent exportation of firearms; any necessary clearances from ATF prior to export; or compliance with any one-time licensing exception the City may be eligible to obtain as provided in the provisions of ITAR. The actual avenue for the City to lawfully export anything is speculative at this time because the City cannot predict the amount or types of firearms that will be donated at buyback event,” Officer Fallat said in a statement.

Are you aware shipping guns to a foreign country without an export license violates ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)?

“If by ‘you’ you mean the City of Miami, YES. See above. The resolution adopted by the City Commission anticipates that the City must ‘work with federal authorities’ to lawfully attempt to comply with the directive and deliver the firearms to the brave men and women fighting for their liberty against their oppressors.”

Are you aware shipping guns to a foreign country violates FL Statute 790.08?

“If by ‘you’ you mean the City of Miami, it is the City’s position that section 790.08 of the Florida Statutes does not regulate the international exportation of firearms.”


Based on their responses, which were clearly written by the department’s attorneys, it is clear that Miami Police did not think this gun buyback through. Even if they’re able to obtain a one-time export license from the State Department or Department of Defense, which ITAR experts say is unlikely, the process can take months or even years. The department’s interpretation of state law is also flawed.

Florida statute 790.08 gives law enforcement a short list of options they can use for weapons that come under their control. They can use the weapons, loan them to another law enforcement agency, destroy them or sell them, but the statute requires them to deposit all money raised from the sale into the state treasury earmarked for the benefit of the State School Fund. As MPD’s statement suggests, the statute “does not regulate the international exportation of firearms.” Instead, it lists the only legal options allowed, and exporting firearms to a foreign military is not one of them. To be clear, if they export the weapons to the Ukraine, they will violate state law.

Historically, police gun buybacks do little to deter crime. They’re a public relations stratagem used to make it appear as though police are cracking down on crime by putting guns on a table in front of the media. A better name for the event would be “cash for clunkers,” since the guns police actually buy back are cheaply made are rarely function.

I have covered more than a few police buybacks. I have never seen a single firearm that’s battleworthy – not one. Most are junk. Does MPD actually believe that Ukrainian forces would arm their soldiers with cheap .25s, broken-down air rifles or rusty .22s? Besides, the Ukrainian forces don’t need cheap small arms. They need long-range artillery, MLRS platforms and anti-tank systems.

In my humble opinion, the real intent of the GUNS 4 UKRAINE buyback is obvious. It’s a classic bait and switch. MPD is using sympathy for the underdog Ukrainian forces as a ploy to get guns off the street, in the mistaken belief that this will make their residents safer. It won’t. Even the name is a nonstarter. After all, how do police buy back something they have never actually owned?

This story is presented by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and wouldn’t be possible without you. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support more pro-gun stories like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams

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Wild Bill

Why would Ukraine’s army want a polyglot of dubious small arms, with no ammunition to go with them? Just a logistical problem created by a virtue signaling city council.


Can’t “buy” back what you never owned to begin with.

uncle dudley

Miami PD needs to just do their job and leave the anti-gun ideas alone.
Is Eric Holder giving them advice?

Wild Bill

Yes, how many of those guns were used in crime and will never be used as evidence. Stupid city councils destroy evidence for criminals.


According to last I heard, Art Acevedo is Miami Chief of PD. Before that he was Chief of Houston Pd (Texas),. Did not seem to offer any socially redeeming value while there.


Simple solution: Get Hunter Biden to take care of it. With 10% to “The Big Guy” of course!


Why don’t we just have him send his whores to Ukraine. I’ve never seen a war zone that didn’t need more. They’d be more useful than a weapon you can’t get ammo for anyway.


They need to just come out and say what everyone is think. The local government is run by people that don’t have a clue and just want to “do something”.

Ansel Hazen

Lol I think they know just what they are doing and they are hoping it will all fall off the radar. Those guns aren’t intended for the Ukraine. This is a PR move and nothing more and a few years from now when the trail is cold those guns will find new homes.


Yep! “hey! we can run this bs scam and get those soccer moms who don’t know a gun from a tampon to vote for us!” Then when it cools down we can pick what we want from the pile and sell the rest back on the street.


They don’t want to “do something”. They don’t give a rats arse about doing anything except self aggrandizement. Look at me – vote for me. Pay no attention to the 2nd amendment gun crazies. You don’t need a 100 megaton 9mm pistol capable of blowing the lungs out of an aircraft carrier with a single round. All you need is a double barreled shotgun fired off your back porch and you’ll be safe till kingdom come. I’d use a cannon except you’ve never, ever, been allowed to own one. Every one knows the 2nd amendment was strictly about duck hunting!

Boris Badenov

Duck hunting with a cannon, sadly there wasn’t much left of the ducks


As a 7th gen Floridian, I’m not surprised by the MPD attempt at collecting guns for a Wag The Dog war; that’s not their intention; it’s Also illegal AF. You boys get over to Liberty City “y’all know where it is.” Start kicking in doors, and you will have plenty of unregistered firearms to send to the Money Laundering WAR sponsored by Joe Biden. Fifty-seven million working cellphones in Ukraine, but yet no live coverage? I remember watching live coverage of Vietnam in the late 60s on MSM with Walter Cronkite nightly, and there weren’t any cellphones in those days.… Read more »


Don’t worry Elon has that covered for the Govt. The rights new Night. lol


And who does Starlink have ties to ? Oh yeah the very same ones in charge of election SECURITY. House of ISAC.


When will someone question these people ?


The “buyback” B.S. ANYWHERE is a way for those involved to get what THEY want in their own collection fast/low key and on the CHEAP… The weapons actually leaving the hands of the “buyback” people are resold or destroyed because they are the non valuable garbage, useless or unwanted by anyone in the group running the deal. FACT !
Typical Dem, lib, antigun smoke and mirror scam to feather their own nest.

Pa John

Gun “buybacks” are a great tool for local / state level politicians who NEED to at least appear to be doing something about so called gun violence, but dare not actually do anything that would anger the local organized crime which helped to fund and make their political careers possible in the first place. A great public show of action is needed to fool the ignorant masses, but which doesn’t actually hurt local thriving organized crime activities. Since organized crime wants you disarmed, and so much so that they are happy to help with getting all of the corrupt politicians… Read more »

jack mac

Regardless of pretense, any removal of arms from the public is to disarm private citizens. Therefore is confiscation. All those with arrest authority are now considered enforcers because too many are nothing more.


violates state, federal and international law.

virtual signaling without thinking this through to its logical end.

as they say in the media, poor optics.

Country Boy

Leave it to Miami Police to do something with guns and not check the laws governing it first……………….


This is a pretense to get guns off the street. They have no serious plan to export any weapons to Ukraine. Most weapons surrendered to police would not be suitable for military or paramilitary use. The few that might be suitable for offensive military use will never see the hands of those killing Russians. They will be sent to a scrap iron shredder.


Does the government, or their enforcement agencies, or their criminal justice system, need to “follow the law”?
Seems to me that they pick and choose which laws they follow, enforce, and WHO they enforce on, as they see fit.
The one consistency is: