Unfortunately, the reason the police keep doing things like this is that there are people that don't want guns in their homes (husband dies, etc.). Now if there was competition with the police, such as an org (non-profit?) that buys the guns from the people, and the people used the org instead of the police the police would stop. The org would comprise of pro-gun individuals that pay for the guns of their choice from the selection brought to "buy back" (hate that term, the guns were not sold buy the police or others doing the buying)/liberation sale/adoption. Need to come up with a catchy term to replace "buy back".
There's always someone there to advise on probate matters. There's more stuff to get rid of than guns. I've never noticed folks not knowing they can sell these things. I've also never known a gun shop to turn fair deals down, or not send them to some interested person.
Normally these media events collect a lot of crap. Stuff that has no market value. Some have even collected crap to make a small profit from these events. The event holders have taken note of that. The money spent is for advertising. It comes out of their propaganda budget.
There IS an organization to compete with this BS, it is all the honest Gun Dealers of America.
I buy guns that people no longer want all the time.
Sometimes they are disappointed that the gun is not worth more, sometimes they are shocked to learn that grand-dad's beat up old first gen. Colt SAA or 1914 dated 1911 is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
I have sent people to larger dealers when they walked in with rare Luger's worth thousands, and I have arranged a quick sale to a collector when a mint W.W.I Colt was more valuable than I could afford to buy.
Honest people only fall for these "buy-back" schemes ("buy-back"? When did the State own the gun previously?) because the Gov. Org. or "charity" organizing them can afford to purchase massive advertising to promote them.
Left to their own it simply does not occur to them to seek out a dealer and sell the guns, until they need the money to handle a crises, or they inherit them. Then far too often they get ripped of by a "Pawn Shop" who gives them ¢20 on the dollar.
Give me the sort of free advertising the Gov. Org. has access to and I will take far more guns "off the streets" at fair prices!
Of course, when I buy a gun the seller has to provide current ID, I make a record of where it came from, and the gun will not disappear into a smelter.
So I would not be buying guns from criminals, which does cut down on the number of guns I would be offered.
Just as a public service I will tell you what dealers pay for used guns.
Licensed gun dealers usually pay 50%-60% of retail value.
Pawn shops pay 10%-20% of retail on pawn, 20%-35% to buy.
Unlicensed "dealers" pay similar to pawn shops, but are even more willing to take advantage of anyone who does not realize what they have. They are "not really in business" and have no concern at all for repeat business, so BEWARE.
Licensed gun dealers will usually sell a gun on consignment for 15%-20% of the retail sale price.
Your library MIGHT have a copy of the "Blue Book of Gun Values".
If they don't they can be bought at gun shops and on-line.
Evaluating a guns condition accurately can be tricky for a novice, even experienced dealers occasionally make expensive mistakes.
Sellers always see every gun as "Mint", the broken stock and missing magazine are minor points to them.
Dealers usually notice the SS# scratched into the side of the action, and want to take off points for the missing rear sight.
Thus a little dickering usually follows, but if both are honest a deal can usually be made.
But even a novice will get better advice from a reference book than from a liberal gun grabber looking to advance their cause.
My site is full of guns I have "taken off the street", so if you know some one tempted by a stupid "buy back" send them to me! ;-)