On Saturday, 15 March, a gun turn in event was held in Winston Salem, North Carolina. 220 handguns and 144 rifles and shotguns were reported as being turned in, along with unnumbered airguns and BB guns. $20,000 was allocated for the event. When the money ran out, the event organizers decided to issue IOUs for the remaining $12,000 dollars. I have not found a report that indicates if there were private buyers competing with the event organizers to buy the offered firearms and air guns, though their had been some discussion of this on at least one North Carolina gun forum before the event.
Several of the activists used the event to dispose of faulty firerams that were worth less on the free market than the incentive offered:
A friend took a couple of junk guns up for me. I got $175 for a couple of inoperable junkers that needed to be thrown away anyhow (between several friends we got $1800 of their money). I will be on the lookout for more junk to take to the next one. While I obviously disagree with their notion of using tax payer dollars to "take guns off the streets", I feel that taking as much of their money as possible is the best method to subvert the spirit of the initiative. Any money I get from them will be funneled directly into more guns and ammo! My hope is that any anti-gun organizations or individuals who make private donations to this cause will now have fewer funds to donate elsewhere.Another member implied that there may have been private buyers, but did not offer details, with this cryptic response: "Some deals to be had there!"
The physical setup of this turn in event made private offers to buy difficult. It was held at a fairground, and private buyers were not allowed in at the gate, which was hundreds of yards from the collection point. This article has several pictures of the set up and the firearms turned in.
Another event will be held at the First Waughtown Baptist Church, 838 Moravia St., on Saturday, 12 April.
The event will be open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. They often open a little early and run out of money early. People started showing up for the 15 March event 90 minutes early. The best time to make deals is when people show up after they have run out of rewards to give out, or when people have to wait in line. People who have a number of inexpensive guns to turn in, should arrive early to make sure that the organizers do not run out of money before they can turn in what they wish to dispose of. People who turn in guns will be required to give their names.
Private sales are legal in North Carolina, as they are in most states. I understand that a permit from the Sheriff is required to purchase a pistol, but that it is good for five years over the whole State.
Across the country, communities, police departments and churches are sponsoring gun turn-ins to get "guns off the street". At many of these events, private buyers are showing up, offering cash for the more valuable guns. These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery card or a number of twenty dollar bills.
You can help make the turn-in in your area 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.
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.
It also dispels the pernicious message that guns are bad and should be destroyed.
Link to article with numerous examples of private sales at gun turn in events
Link to most recent article about private buyers at Detroit event
Link to Phoenix Article: pictures of private buyers
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch