I’ve often thought about doing just this.
A line of cars, trunks filled with unwanted weapons, still extended for several blocks up James Street on Saturday, January 26, when police officers started turning vehicles away shortly before noon. Demand for Seattle’s first gun buyback program in two decades had far exceeded supply, with police running through their gift cards less than three hours into what was scheduled to be a six-hour event.
By the end of the truncated buyback, officials had exchanged $68,000 in gift cards for 716 handguns, rifles, and shotguns, including dozens of assault weapons, three 12-gauge 12-round semiautomatic “street sweeper” shotguns, and a shoulder-fired surface-to-air Stinger missile launcher. …..
In addition to guns, officers also collected more than 500 pounds of unwanted ammunition, sometimes walking the line with open bags as people dumped in handfuls of bullets and cartridges, giving the exchange a weird trick-or-treat-like feel. It was almost festive.
So, what happened to all those that didn’t get to turn their guns and ammo in?
The decision was made to turn away newcomers to more quickly serve those who were already waiting in line. About an hour later, after the backlog was processed, police briefly reopened the event, but a lot of people with unwanted guns went home disappointed, while others turned to the dozens of private gun buyers who had swarmed the surrounding streets, hoping to pick up valuable weapons on the cheap.
“We had a gun bazaar break out on the streets of Seattle outside a gun buyback,” exclaimed Mayor Mike McGinn at a morning press conference the following Monday. “This is insane.” It sure is, but as McGinn explained, the city does not have the authority to prevent the private sale of guns. He suggested the city council might be able to pass an ordinance barring gun sales on public sidewalks, “but that just means those sales move someplace where we can’t see them at all.”
The rest of the story is presented from the view of a gun grabber, it misses the point of gun ownership. But, that’s a different story. Here is the law of unintended consequences biting the gun grabbers in the behind. Why? Because, they act on emotion rather than thought.
Sadly, I live in the heartland, we don’t have people willingly giving up perfectly good guns. So, I’d have to buy a lot of guns and ammo to make a trip worth my while.
There, of course, is another aspect to this event. It’s a perfectly good opportunity for people of nefarious intent to take advantage as well.