U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– The Dane County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a gun “buyback” on August 13, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Alliant Energy Center. “Buyback” is an Orwellian term. The guns which will be turned in to the police and sheriff deputies at the event were never owned by the government, so they cannot be “bought back”.
The Alliant Energy Center is part of the Madison Coliseum complex, at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way. There are large parking lots with little roadside parking. The event is to start at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. $50,000 dollars has been allocated for the event. About $12,000 of the money will be used for overtime of the police and deputies.
The resolution provides $50,000 for the program – $12,000 for staff
overtime costs for the Sheriff’s Office and the Madison Police
Department, and the remaining amount will be used towards the purchase
of fuel and grocery gift cards, facility use fees and supplies.
The Dane County Sheriff’s department announced the following amounts will be exchanged in gift cards:
- $250 for “assault rifles”
- $250 for “ghost guns”
- $100 for rifles, shotguns, and pistols
- $50 for revolvers
- $10-20 for facsimiles, BB guns, and air guns.
No walk-ups will be accepted. Guns are to be in the cargo compartments of vehicles. The firearms are to be unloaded. Ammunition that participants desire to turn in is asked to be kept in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. A maximum of four guns will be accepted per person.
No soliciting (private sales) will be allowed at the Alliant Energy Center. This presents a challenge to private purchasers of firearms.
This correspondent spoke with Elise of the Dane County Sheriff’s office. She agreed the definitions of the above firearms were fluid, and considerable officer discretion in payments for particular firearms was necessary.
The Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to close the event early if the gift cards run out.
This is a strong possibility. When gift cards run out at these events, people often still show up and are willing to sell firearms to private purchasers.
Madison, Wisconsin, is in the heart of deer and pheasant hunting country. The area has a strong tradition of shooting sports. Many of the people turning in guns at these events inherited the guns and have little or no knowledge of how much they are worth.
It is likely many sporting shotguns and rifles worth hundreds of dollars will be turned in for $100 worth of gift cards. The sleeper here is revolvers. Only $50 is offered for revolvers.
Revolver prices have kept pace with inflation. Decent revolvers cost several hundred dollars. It is likely there will be significant numbers of Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and Colt revolvers turned in at the event for a few percent of what they are worth on the market.
Private buyers at these events have been resilient, persistent, and inventive. They may set up tables at the entrances to the Alliant Energy Center, for example. The private purchase of firearms is legal in Wisconsin. Madison banned the sale of handguns for a few years, but the state legislature passed a preemption bill forbidding local governments from doing so. From a Madison police legal update in 2011:
This is an interesting excert on how the Madison police department viewed 66.0409 in Spring of 2011. It came from the Madison police department web site titled Legal Update. It apparently is done under authority of Captain Victor Whal. [ … ] So, while these ordinances remain on the books, most of them (prohibiting the sale of firearms, prohibiting the possession of short-barreled handguns, prohibiting the possession of assault weapons, etc) are unenforceable.
Officers should not take enforcement action for these ordinances. The emphasis is mine.
It appears deputies and police will prevent soliciting on the Alliant Energy property, but not outside of it.
Madison has not had a gun turn-in event in many years. Elise at the Sheriff’s department said she could not remember one in the eighteen years she had been there. In 2014, there was a similar event in Milwaukee. Some nice guns were purchased by private buyers.
Eighteen years of inherited guns may yield large numbers of good guns to be turned in to be destroyed.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.