Detroit Area Activists Turn Firearm Buy-Back Into Gun Show

Detroit Area Activists Turn Firearm Buy-Back Into Gun ShowAmmoLand – by Rick Ector

Detroit, Michigan – -( This past Saturday, November 9th, 2013, approximately 20 Detroit area gun rights activists attended a local event officially billed as a “massive gun buy-back initiative” to stage a demonstration of their own against the city of Highland Park’s (MI) government.

Less than a week before the event, Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney was mentioned in a press release in which it was stated that he was going to announce a gun buy-back seeking to entice local citizens into surrendering their guns on a “no questions asked” basis.  

Program participants were promised to be rewarded with $50 cash for any working handgun and would be given $100 cash for any working long gun – rifle or shotgun. The press release also included the following quote from that city’s mayor – Andre Windom – who was quoted as saying, “I applaud the efforts of our police department in proactively taking necessary measures to get guns off the street and to promote safety in our community.”

Local Detroit gun rights activists, however, know the truth about these “dog-and-pony-show” program ran by local governments all across our country:

  • They have never been proven to have any positive effect on violent crime rates.
  • They encourage firearm thefts because no questions will be asked.
  • They potentially lead to the destruction of evidence used in crimes.
  • They lead to the destruction of personal property of the rightful owners.
  • They consume public resources that could be used to fight crime.
  • They exploit the poor by offering $50 for potentially valuable hardware.
  • They mislead the public by creating only a “feel good” fluff story in the media.

Accordingly, Detroit area gun rights activists set up for business on the site of the event  – the Highland Park Fire Station. Activists made sure that they were equipped to comply with current state law by having either a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL) or a Michigan Pistol Purchase Permits and Michigan Pistol Sales Record Forms. In Michigan, private handgun transfers require purchase permits and registration.

The protest started slowly but had an unpredictable result:

The event was scheduled to start at 8am but the city did not open their doors to the public until 8:30am. At that time there were only 7 people in line.

Participation to the event was relatively light early in the day and picked up as it got later. After an estimated 24 firearm purchases, the city of Highland Park ran out of money shortly after noon. The event was scheduled to last until 4:00p.m. Apparently, they did not have a big enough budget for this event. They hung up a sign and closed up for the day.

However, the gun rights activists were still making offers to willing buyers and making purchases. The gun buy-back had turned into a gun show. By the time the activists stopped buying guns, they recorded a combined purchase count of 31 firearms.

WWII Army Issued Remington-Rand 1911

WWII Army Issued Remington-Rand 1911

The protest did not transpire without its share of issues. For example, there was initially a dispute as to whether the activists could legally setup shop on public property.

In addition, the police department sent an officer over to the owner of a nearby lot – a neighborhood pharmacy – to see if they could have the activists cars ejected. Furthermore, the Chief of Police himself came out and threatened the activists with tickets for “Solicitation” for buying guns on the Fire Department’s premises while their own operation was shuttered for lack of funds.

At the end of the day, local gun rights advocates bested a local police department by turning their own gun buy-back event into a gun show. In addition, some guns were saved from the scrap heap and will have new home in which they will be greatly appreciated.

About The Author

Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school – Rick’s Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, NRAnews, Gun Digest, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, WJLB, WGPR and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

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