Sunday, September 04, 2022

Madison Gun "buyback" 483 Firearms, including 55 Homemade, 93 air guns, a crossbow pistol

Screen shot from video released by Sheriff's Office

Video and numbers from the gun turn in event organized by the Dane County Sheriff's office in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 13, 2022, have been released. The Orwellian term "buyback" was used, although the guns had never been owned by the police. You cannot "buyback" something you never owned.

There is video released by the Sheriff's Office of the guns turned in, shown at

The haphazard and careless display of jumbled long guns makes identification of most problematic.  There appeared to be at least one M1 Carbine, one of the Lee Enfield Service rifles, and, likely, an Springfield 03 or 03A3 service rifle.

Included in the jumble of long guns were a smattering of air guns. There were numerous shotguns and .22 rifles.

As reported by

The Dane County Sheriff's Office shared the following details about the event:

  • 266 cars came to the event
  • 577 total weapons were surrendered, including:
    • 333 long guns, including rifles, shotguns and 11 assault-style rifles
    • 95 handguns, including revolvers and semi-automatic pistols
    • 93 pellet/BB/paintball guns
    • One crossbow pistol
    • 55 homemade weapons (3D, slam guns)
    • 380 lbs. of miscellaneous ammunition

The Sheriff's Office stated $43,380 in gift cards were handed out.

From the numbers reported by the Sheriff's Office, there were 483 firearms of all types turned in at the event.

Over eleven percent of the firearms turned in were homemade (ghost) guns.

There was no information about how much was handed out for the homemade firearms. The advertising for the event stated $200 would be paid for "ghost guns".

AmmoLand welcomes comments from anyone with personal knowledge of the event. 

There was local opposition to the event. Anthony Hamilton is running for Sheriff to replace Sheriff Barrett this November. From

“This event was virtue signaling and political theater of the absolute worst kind,” Hamilton said, standing in Olin Park in Madison next to two damaged stolen cars that he called “a symbol of the failure of political infection in policing.”

“That money could have been better spent to make a real difference and save lives,” the candidate said. “Nearly all of these guns were handed over by older white women. Not the demographic the sheriff said he was after.”

Sheriff Kalvin Barrett issued a statement in defense of the event. From

“We’re very pleased with the results from this effort to interrupt the access to guns in our community,” Sheriff Kalvin Barrett said in a statement. “It’s important to remember that we will never know if we have prevented an injury or death. We can’t measure something that did not happen. But by providing this opportunity for people to safely dispose of their unwanted firearms, we can undoubtedly say that these guns will never be used in a crime, a suicide, a domestic violence incident or an accident.”

Academic studies universally show these events to have no effect on crime or suicide rates.  Proponents often claim their purpose is "to make a statement" or to "do something".

Sheriff Kalvin Barrett made this statement:

"There has been a lot of talk about this being the end all be all for all gun violence. But in reality, its not. It is a piece to the pie of the societal issues that we have. Not only here  in Dane County, but throughout our nation, nationwide."

Dane County Supervisor Rick Rose indicated the message given was the important thing. In a interview he said:

 "For us, there is the message that we care."

Rose then claimed conversations on the way to and from turning in guns would include:

".. the importance and the metaphor of turning in a gun."

Several sources report media was banned from the event.

The Sheriff claimed the ban was out of a desire to protect the anonymity of participants. 

The decision to ban media appears to have been made after the Sheriff's political opponent, Anthony Hamilton, criticized the event. 

266 vehicles were reported  as showing up for the event. Most participants did not have to leave their vehicle for a deputy to retrieve the guns and ammunition from the cargo area. 

Some private purchasers worked the line, offering more money than the County was. They left when police asked them to leave. 

The ban on media seems to have been effective in minimizing the reports of private purchasers. 

According to a source in the Sheriff's department, other private purchasers worked from the parking lot of a nearby private hotel. This correspondent did not find any media mentioning this.

At about 2:10 in the NBC15 video, it is reported:

The Sheriff said no stolen guns were found. When a reporter asked him if all the guns were registered, he said information was still being gathered and would be shared in the future. 

Not reported:

Very few guns are required to be  "registered" in Wisconsin. It would be difficult to find a "registered" gun in Wisconsin, especially at an anonymous "buyback".

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Martyr said...

I wonder if and or how many guns were purchased before they could be turned in? Any information regarding that? I always enjoy seeing that people that would have turned in the guns getting a better deal from interested firearms owners, collectors looking for and finding a worthwhile gun. From the stand point of getting guns off the streets the effect is nil. Unless the day comes that older white women decide to go on a rampage, then there may be some benefit. I might have to crunch the numbers to see if it's worth 3D printing a few guns to get the prepaid card in return. Probably not given the cost of supplies and energy.

Anonymous said...

Some one recently gave me a bag full of parts and two rifle barrels Looks like I'll have a busy winter refinishing every thing but they are original octagon barrels One is a .45 6 shot cylinder gun. I think the other is a .22 WRF lever action. both missing a lot of parts. make some buy some. I love working on old things. I have the tools and equipment to make just about any thing I want. I have about 600 pounds of brass for casting frames and the kiln to do it.