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MI: Grand Rapids Plans Two Cheap Gun Opportunities

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The Grand Rapids Michigan Police Department has announced they will be running two gun turn-in events in Grand Rapids, two weeks apart.

From woodtv.com:

The police department said it will be holding two buyback events where people can get rid of firearms in exchange for a prepaid gift card with no questions asked.

The first will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 1534 Kalamazoo Ave. SE. Then on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Genesis Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

Participants are asked to bring their weapons unloaded and stored in the trunk of a vehicle.

Gun turn-in events have become rare in states where private sales are legal. Private buyers advertise at the events and ruin the propaganda value for those who want the population disarmed.

Sign at Milwaukee Gun Turn in May, 2014 Courtesy Dean Weingarten

The gun turn-in events scheduled for Grand Rapids is likely to bring in a few guns and to run out of gift cards very quickly. An event in Phoenix, Arizona, with over $200,000 budget ran out of gift cards after collecting over 2,000 guns.

The Grand Rapids turn-in events have split the funds between two events. Either the cards will run out at the first one, or funds will be kept in reserve. In both cases, private buyers can benefit. When the cards run out, people who brought guns to turn in will be open to any reasonable offers.  Grand Rapids has a budget of $15,000 total, to be used for gift cards to exchange for guns at both events.

From mlive.com:

People who sell their guns will receive generic gift cards ranging from $50 to $200 depending on the type of gun and its condition.

Guns like assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns in good condition will yield more than, for example, hunting rifles and firearms not in good condition, according to police officials.

Generally, a gun must be in working or near-working condition to be eligible, but it’s a case-by-case basis. Rusted antique weapons, however, will not be bought.

Grand Rapids police Sgt. Dan Adams said the buyback will be “completely anonymous.” Those buying the guns won’t ask sellers for any identification or even if they live in the city, he said.

Michigan residents can help make the turn-in in Grand Rapids 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.

“Antique” guns such as WWI Webleys or German Reichrevolvers might appear obsolete; they can be worth many hundreds to a thousand or two dollars to collectors.

This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility.  It is a win-win-win situation.

Private sales of firearms in Michigan are covered by this wikihow.com article.   Laws change, so Michigan private buyers should perform their own research to conform with the law.  A generic pistol purchase permit is needed in advance for a private pistol purchase.

A key to being a successful private purchaser is to make the exchange easy for the seller. Look for easy places for people to park so items can be looked at prior to purchase.  It is not unusual for people to bring several guns to these turn-in events.

Many academic studies have shown how ineffective these events are at fighting crime.  From the “Freakonomics” web site:

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.

When private purchasers show up at these events to offer cash for guns, it is cheap activism. It shows guns are valued by many members of the community.

The so-called “buybacks” (Buyback is an Orwellian propaganda term. You cannot buy back something you never owned.) were common a few years ago.

Here is a link from 2013, with numerous examples of private sales at gun turn in events.

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.

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