Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Citizen's Guide To Detroit Police Gun Buy-Backs: How To Legally Buy Firearms Below Wholesale Prices

Despite the fact that the Oakland County Jail is pledging to soon release over 200 inmates due to over-crowding, the announcement that there are at least 21 serial rapists currently operating undetected in the city, and that the current homicide tally in Detroit is over 210 (as of August 12th), the Detroit Police Department (DPD) has announced yet another "Gun Buy-Back" program.

It matters not that these events have failed to lower the crime rate. The only sane reason to waste manpower in this fashion is to generate a positive fluff story in the media that the local police are "trying" to do something about Detroit's violent crime problem. There has never been a gun buy-back event that has been proven to reduce crime anywhere throughout the annals of recorded history.

For the uninformed, this buy-back event pays people to turn in firearms without any documentation for cash without any questions being asked. DPD is paying $25 for broken firearms, $50 for working firearms, and $100 for assault weapons - whatever firearms those may be. Some of the firearms to be sold to DPD by the public are expected to be pieces of junk. These events are usually heavily covered by the local media, so there will be a huge turn-out of gun sellers eager to cash in their guns for some cold hard cash.

It is very likely that a few unappreciated and undervalued gems currently being held by widows will turn up for sale. Thus, it is very possible for interested citizens to position themselves for an opportunity to get a great deal on working quality firearms at below wholesale prices. For example, at a recent buy-back, the DPD reportedly paid a person $50 for a Civil War era handgun.

So, how does an enterprising prospective firearm purchaser make a legal firearm purchase? Easy! Buyers should show up to the buy-back event with large visible signs announcing that they wish to pay cash - above prices being offered by DPD - and lure firearm sellers away from the gun buy-back event. Buyers will need to stay off the private property of the sale site and have the necessary paperwork to legally buy any firearms presented for sale.

To legally buy a handgun from a private seller, a buyer needs to have either a 10-Day Pistol Purchase Permit from his local law enforcement agency or a Michigan Concealed Pistol License along with a Michigan Pistol Sales Record Form. The buyer and seller will fill out the paperwork and the legal private sale of a handgun can be done in mere seconds. Private sales of long guns - rifles and shotguns - do not require any paperwork to be completed.

There are a few risks. For one, you will be in a crime-ridden city with a lot of cash in your possession. Safeguards to ensure you don't get robbed are definitely in order. In addition, you may be dealing with a person who has a loaded firearm and doesn't have any knowledge of safe gun handling practices. So you'll need to be alert and be sure to clearly communicate with your seller.

Other points to keep in mind, are that all sales are likely to be "as-is." So, you'll need to be able to quickly size up and appraise the functionality and worth of the firearm. If you buy a defective firearm, you'll probably have no recourse.

Furthermore, there is also a small chance that you may be unknowingly buying a stolen handgun. You won't discover this until you attempt to register your handgun within 10 days as required by state law. If the firearm was reported as stolen, it will be confiscated by the police and you can file a criminal complaint against the seller.

However, do keep in mind that since you requested the buyer's ID and had him fill out the required paperwork, the risk is, in my opinion, small that someone would commit a crime - selling a stolen firearm - with a fresh trail that will lead back to him.

One final risk that may be experienced is that it is possible that some enterprising buyers may be harassed by local law enforcement. After all, their objective in conducting this buy-back event is to convince citizens to voluntarily disarm themselves despite the city being over-run with violent crime. Depending on the individual officer's training, knowledge of firearms law, and personal beliefs about citizens legally owning firearms, there could be some negative contact with the police.

Personally, I don't think that there will be any negative contact with law enforcement, but it is a possibility so I have mentioned it for the sake of full disclosure. As such, make sure to to exercise appropriate measures as you deem necessary: brush up on your knowledge of "Terry Stops," have an attorney present or on notice, be in the company of friends to serve as witnesses, and being able and ready to record any encounters with the police as allowed by state law.

In conclusion, there are quite a few hurdle to negotiate while trying to legally buy firearms at a police department sponsored buy-back event. However, it can be a very entertaining and rewarding way to spend a few hours of your time. As any antiques-hunter will quickly verify, the thrill is definitely in the hunt. There is a great chance that you will be able to buy a quality firearm at steeply discounted price.

The latest DPD Gun Buy-Back will be Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at the St. Cecilia Catholic Church - 10400 Stoepel Street, Detroit, MI. The sale starts at 9:30a.m. Get there early! Don't forget your sign, RI-60 Forms, and cash! Good Luck!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this post should be taken as legal advice. Consult the state of Michigan statutes and an attorney before seriously contemplating any participation in buying firearms at the DPD Gun Buy-Back. Firearm offenses are punished severely.

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.

For more info about Detroit Michigan CPL Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Contact: Rick Ector
Phone: 313.733.7404


Dean Weingarten said...

Excellent article. I see more citizens all over the country are using these bits of political theater to obtain good firearms at bargain prices.

I would love to see pictures of the firearms turned in and the bargains obtained by freedom fighting patriots. Please write a followup article with pictures!

Dean Weingarten said...

Anyone back from the gun bazaar, (buyback), yet? I would like to hear the story.