MI: Gun Turn-in
Upstaged by Private Buyers

By Dean Weingarten. November 24, 2020

The second phase of the great Grand Rapids Police gun turn-in of 2020 has come and gone. On 7 November, at 851 Leonard St. NW, police stopped the turn-in. The program was labled with the Orwellian term "buyback". A police department cannot "buyback" what it never owned. The vast majority of the over 450 million privately owned guns in the United States were never owned by any local, state, or national government entity. There were a few million guns sold surplus after the great wars; but those are about 1% of the total number.

Most of the guns in the picture put on facebook by the Grand Rapids Police Department are older antiques and inexpensive models. In the center of the picture, with plastic simulated ivory grips, is an old acquaintance, the RG-14. It is an inexpensive revolver, but it generally works. I was able to shoot a 2 inch group with one at 50 feet, using a rest and a lot of concentration to overcome the horrible trigger. It might be worth $50. The program paid $100.

As expected, the program ran out of gift cards early. Most of the cards were probably used on 24 October, when 107 firearms were turned in. It appear another 53 firearms were turned in on 7 November. Exactly when the program was shut down is uncertain. The time stamp on the announcement at the Grand Rapids Police Department Facebook page shows 9:09 a.m. The program was not scheduled to start until 10 a.m. From the facebook page:

November 7 at 9:09 AM -
This past Saturday, the Gun Buy Back was forced to end early, as all of the funds were spent. One hundred sixty firearms were turned in. This program has been a great success. The City and the GRPD greatly appreciates the support, as we continue to work towards being the safest mid-sized city in the US. ....

As has been stated many times a gun "buyback" is a total misnomer, considering that the organizer such as a police department has never had ownership, and so can hardly buy back. Instead it is a weak incentive to tempt people to hand in weapons, which rarely if ever will succeed in removing criminal guns and is little more than a PR excercise for purely "feelgood" purposes.


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