These ladies agreed to have their picture taken with some of their purchases, but only after I told them I was new media.
They insisted that they did not want their pictures used for anti-freedom propaganda. They said that they would be checking up on me.
Ladies, this story is for you.
The gift cards could not always compete with cash. About 60-70 percent of the people bringing guns to the turn in wanted to get rid of the guns because they considered them worth less than the value of the cards, or because they thought the firearms were inoperable, missing parts, obsolete, not worth fixing, or sometimes, especially with old revolvers, dangerous to use.
About 20-30 percent were turning in guns for ideological reasons, and wanted to make sure they were going to police. Most did not care what happened to them after that, but they did not want to sell them.
Maybe 10 percent just had a firearm they had inherited, knew nothing about, and simply wanted to dispose of conveniently. Some of these brought some of the most valuable items to be turned in.
Private buyers worked the line of cars.
At the first turn in event, I estimated that there were about 100. On the second event, hours after the start, I counted a minimum of 83. The atmosphere was festive, jovial, a combination of street fair and gun show. It was a rolling gun show.
Civility, polite discourse, and camaraderie were the rule of the day. There were no angry faces, no harsh words, no raised voices.
It is what one expects of the gun culture.
Private buyers were happy for others good fortune, with news of the best purchases spreading through the crowd in an excited buzz.
An impromptu auction happened for the purchase of this World War II war trophy P38.
The original holster flap was cut off to make it a quick draw rig, a common field modification of American soldiers during the war. The magazines also have correct war period markings. The lucky winner of the bidding paid $350.
This enterprising young man just purchased an original military Mauser and a couple of non-functioning reproductions
This Hungarian .45 appears to be in nice shape. $150
Most of the private purchasers seemed to be Second Amendment Constitutional activists. One source told me that he estimated that 75% of the buyers had concealed carry permits.
Many buyers purchased multiple items.
These two young activists had already purchased a dozen early in the event.
A retired engineer purchased these for $365 in total
The puchases are a period Montgomery Wards .22 (made by Mossberg) known as a good utility .22 rifle; a Phoenix HP .22 in mint condition; a Raven .25, like new, with holster; a good condition Iver Johnson Sealed 8 .22 revolver, known for accuracy, durability, and affordability, with holster; and a scoped Remington model 700 30-06 with sling and case, almost new. The Raven was offered for free, but he felt compelled to give $20. Ravens are inexpensive, but they have a reputation for reliability.
This fellow purchased an older Ithaca model 37.
Notice the leather butt extender. They were common in the 1950's. He paid $100.
Decent pump shotgun (Savage?), Raven?, and like new Ruger stainless bull barrel target .22 pistol
The happy buyer of these items paid less than $300 total, as I recall.
The revolver is a Navy marked S&W from WWII
There was another impromptu auction for the Smith and Wesson revolver. It went for $150, and it was not until after the purchase that the new owner discovered that it was a WWII Navy bring back. I saw several S&W revolvers purchased, so I may have the picture of the Navy gun confused with another. It was clearly a K frame S&W. I saw the Navy markings.
Deal of the day
The purchaser told me that he gave all his remaining cash for this stainless Colt Delta elite 10mm with holster and extra magazine. All the cash he had was $112.
More than one of these like new Marlin bolt action .22 rifles were purchased
These are nice hunting and utility rifles.
This North American Arms .22 mini revolver and holster was purchased for $100.
This Ishapore 2A or 2A1 is in .308 caliber
The private buyer purchased this rifle at the tail end of the first turn in. He paid $225 for the rifle with after market scope mount and sling.
Eclectic mix: Savage "gill" rifle, Mossberg bolt shotgun, Ranger single shot with adjustable peep sight, inexpensive .25 semi-auto, RG-14 .22, Bryco .380, Smith & Wesson Frontier model in .44 Russian
The buyer paid $380 total for these seven firearms. The .44 Russian has significant collector value. The buyer paid $20 for it and the pistol rug. The peep sight on the Ranger .22 is worth as much as the rifle.
Most buyers made multiple purchases, but a few came up dry. The average was somewhere between two and five guns per buyer. If we take a conservative estimate of 3 items per buyer per day, at 100 buyers per day, that would be about 500 to 600 private purchases during the two turn in events. The private buyers took about half as many firearms off the street and into responsible hands as were collected in the two turn in events.
This model 97 Winchester is highly sought after by Cowboy Action Shooters
I was told that the proud new owner paid $20 for it. Later, he wasn't sure that it had not been given to him. It will not be cut up for scrap. He intended to give it to his wife for home defense.
There were about a dozen police officers at each event site. They directed traffic; one lady officer said that their purpose was to insure that everyone's rights were protected.
It is unlikely that street criminals attended the event with such a significant police presence.
This Marlin model 990 was unfired in the box.
It was lovely, has a good reputation, and is defined as an assault rifle in New Jersey. This model was discontinued because of the New Jersey law. When offered it in a parking lot, by someone who had brought it to be turned in, I considered my needs for Christmas presents. I could not resist for $100.
I found this $50 bill in the street
I asked the car it was next to if they had just done a transaction, and what bills had been exchanged. They said $5, so I pocketed the $50 and dropped it in the collection plate at church the next day.
It is unlikely that another such turn in event will occur in Phoenix in the near future. The legislature has passed a law requiring any firearms turned in to local governments be sold to dealers and the proceeds added to the public treasury.
Mayor Greg Stanton has said that the turn in events have no purpose if they are not allowed to destroy the guns that are turned in.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.