Skip to comments.Gun advocates outbid Detroit police for unwanted guns at buyback event(MI)
Posted on 08/30/2012 8:04:57 PM PDT by marktwain
DETROIT Gun advocates, in competition with Detroit police, offered a buyback program of their own Thursday.
As police conducted a gun buyback event at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 10400 Stoepel in Detroit, about a dozen protesters stood across the street making offers of their own.
"Guns Wanted! Cash" and "Cash for guns," their signs read. They beckoned those in line with their guns concealed in towels and bags, to come across the street for a better price.
The police program paid gun owners between $25 and $100 for their guns.
"These guys out here are willing to double and triple that," said Rick Ector, 44, a Detroit gun rights activist who helped plan the protest.
The offers fell upon mostly deaf ears, as few crossed the street to inquire about the premium buyback offers the activists were making.
The reason, several of them theorized, was the police response to their efforts.
Between the activists and residents awaiting to sell their unwanted guns, stood a row of five police in the center of the street.
"The police are obviously putting a wall, a barricade, between us and the people who are in line," Ector said. "It's a form of intimidation."
Ector and others said gun buyback events unfairly "demonize" guns.
We want "to send the message that guns are not evil, despite what the government and police are saying," Ector said "Guns do not cause crime; bad people cause crime.
"There's a lot of reasons (gun buybacks) are flat out wrong. For one, it's not going to change anything with regards to violent crime in the city of Detroit; two, potentially you have criminals who are destroying evidence along with the Detroit Police Department." In the church line stood Rick Ward, 47, who was selling his grandmother's 410, bolt-action shotgun, which has sat dormant stored at his home for years.
Ward said he's happy to get a few bucks for the unused gun, but doubts the program will do anything to reduce gun violence in Detroit.
"Too many AKs on the street," he said. "Ain't no criminals and gangsters bringing no guns in, just people that need money."
After hearing about the attractive prices being offered across the street, Ward pondered the possibly of approaching the alternative purchasers.
"Can they buy them out there?" he asked. "So I can go over there and get more for this?"
After thinking about it a little longer, he reached his conclusion. "I ain't going to chance that," he said.
Standing behind Ward in line is Myron Branch, 35, of Detroit.
"That's what I just did," he tells Ward. "I just took two shotguns to this one guy who was just standing out there. He's like, 'Oh, it's perfectly legal.'"
Branch sold two of the three shotguns he brought, which would have fetched $50 each from police, for $75 to the gun advocates, he said.
Although the gun advocates were adamant that it is not illegal for them to conduct private transactions with gun owners they even had legal forms on hand, which they said are required for handgun sales police disagreed.
"It's illegal for them to make a purchase," said Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens from inside the church. "They have to have a permit to do it. So if they're caught, they're going to be in trouble.
"If you're on a public street, you have to have a permit to do it."
Stephens said the gun buyback event is just one of the department's "tools" to help reduce crime.
"We understand that it's an individuals choice how they use a gun," she said. "We're not saying this is going to solve all the crimes... but for adults who choose to turn in their guns, they have the right to do so.
"We're not forcing anyone, we're not demanding. Individuals have a free will to make a decision.
Ector said Detroit is not a good place to be unarmed.
"There have been numerous cuts to public safety resources," he said. "It is extremely dangerous to be in the city of Detroit and for them to demonize the handgun, it really sends the wrong message."
Regarding the evidence-destruction complaint Ector made outside the event, Stephens said: "We're going to run the guns... and before the guns are destroyed they will be run for ballistics to see if they've been used in any other crimes."
Stephens said the department is running the serial numbers of all of the guns accepted during the event and owners of any stolen guns will be notified.
Gun advocates outside remained skeptical that police would investigate whether the guns they received had been stolen or used in crimes.
Dozens of shotgun and rifle stocks pointed toward the ceiling from barrels in the basement of the church. Sgt. Daran Carey said it "looked like a slow turnout" as of 10:30 a.m.
About 50 gun owners exchanged guns in the first hour Thursday.
The department collected 500 or more guns during three previous events.
From inside one barrel, Carey extracts a World War I German Mauser, a sniper rifle and one of the more unique firearms collected during the event.
On a table is an altered shotgun that appears to have been manipulated for purposes of concealment. The barrel is sawed off, as well as the stock, which is wrapped in blue tape.
Detroit police say all of the guns collected will be melted down, but several protesters outside the event believe the more desirable weapons will make their way to officers' homes.
No, it sounds more like typical stupid boneheaded cops acting as if they know the law.
Only lawyers can decide what’s legal and illegal.
Not some donut-munching dog-killer.
To Hades with these cops.
Isn’t Detroit the place where “Devil’s Night” occurs? Guess these gangsta thug cops are too busy with their Constitutional rights buy back to protect citizens there then.
The idiot Mayor:
The idiot mayor’s chief lackey:
By the way, a former Detroit police chief was robbed. Guess he sold his gun.
I sleep better among well armed citizens than I do among the unarmed. The more guns the better.
One suspects that the majority of these items, if sold on GunBroker or some other, comparable venue, would reach prices in the hundreds of dollars - possibly more, in the case of valuable antiques.
These people are very foolish not to have the patience to take time and sell them properly.
The comments with the article are great without a whole lot of anti gun sentiment.
Whats the old joke? Dont steal, the government hates competition.
Same thing these so-called buybacks
[How can you buy something back that you never owned in the first place?]
Thanks cripplecreek. Roll out the barrels ping.
"You don't say!"