Missouri- So there I am working this gun buy-back program.
And the whole time I stood there wondering:
“Who is the idiot who came up with this initiative?”
If you’ve never heard of it before, the way that it works is this: you bring in guns, we give you either money or gift cards, depending on how stupid your state leaders are.
The goal is to take guns off the street.
And yet for some reason, even though I’ve worked probably 50 of these damn programs, I have yet to see a felon walk in and say:
“You know what? Lemme get a Walmart card for this .40 I stole from my boy.”
Nine times out of 10, those selling us their guns are law-abiding citizens getting rid of broken or unused weapons.
It’s entrepreneurship at its finest. So for that, I need to give some serious props to state leaders. While they failed at the whole “gun handover” thing, they sure succeeded at giving people a side hustle.
Like this guy, for example.
A Missouri man sold his firearms made out of scrap metal and garbage to a gun buy-back program… and then used the money to buy a real gun.
We call that man a “patriot”.
YouTuber Royal Nonesuch made a quick $300 by taking 3 firearms that he’d built out of scrap and selling them back to the state of Missouri. He described two of the pipe guns as:
“The ‘crappiest guns I’ve ever made’”.
But he was still able to successfully sell them off to the program.
Watching the video that Nonesuch posted, it was immediately clear that the coordinators of the events did not plan or organize as well as they should have. You can see him walk up to a man in a car to get the cash, who relayed information by yelling to another event coordinator.
“I had 3… they’re in that guy’s car,” Nonesuch told the man, who handed over the $300 without confirming or inspecting the guns for himself. “Here you go… go away,” the man says during the transaction.
(Editor note: the video was recently removed from YouTube for violating their terms about firearms.)
Nonesuch was literally able to sell pieces of scrap metal and garbage back to the ‘no questions asked’ program with an intention to purchase a rifle or pistol from a pawn shop after the sale. He stated to his followers that he would post again when he settled on a new gun to purchase.
The ‘guns’ that he sold included a .22 zip-gun style rifle as well as a 12-gauge grappling hook gun. They were functional but by no means a practical weapon or method of defense.
During the buy-back program, the guns were bought out of the coordinator’s cars, as the building that hosted the event was a gun-free zone, which we know from history is incredibly effective at keeping areas safe and gun-free (sarcasm).
Moreover, the event cost over $4,000 but coordinators had only raised about $1,500. I wondered if it was legit or not, but only bureaucrats could be this dumb and fiscally irresponsible.
And so I’d like to congratulate the Democrats who came up with this program. Not only did I get some hefty police overtime, but they helped ensure that broken guns came off the street… and some sexy new pistols made it back onto them.
It’s not just Missouri though. Check out what just happened in Chicago, Illinois.
According to an AGG report, William Stewart Boyd traded his father’s old .38 caliber Smith & Wesson snub nose for less than $100 in a gun buyback in 2004. It was supposed to be destroyed, but somehow the same handgun with serial number J515268 was found next to a dead body involved in a police shooting eight years later.
Boyd, a judge in Cook County, had taken the handgun to a South Side church in Chicago, Illinois where he handed it over to a pair of plainclothes officers with badges on their belts.
“I’m doing the right thing,” he said in an interview with Chicago’s Sun Times, “and, in the process, someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do. That calls into question the process. What’s happening after you turn these weapons in?”
Great question – somehow, this Smith & Wesson .38 ended up in the hands of 22-year-old felon and gang member Cesar Munive – a man previously convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful use of a weapon, and battery.
During an interaction with the police in July 2012, Munive was shot and killed by Cicero (Illinois) Officer Donald Garrity.
Judge Boyd, rightfully, wants to know how the gun got into the hands of Munive.
There’s some grey area in that story. Officer Garrity has a long history of disciplinary problems and is currently collecting a disability pension for PTSD. Garrity was disciplined for using a “high powered rifle” during a traffic stop, threatening another officer, and was stopped once for going 90 mph in a 30-mph zone.
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He was previously with the Berwyn Police Department and was hired by Cicero in 2012.
Munive’s family has accused Garrity of planting the handgun at the scene of the crime to justify his use of force. The family attorney said there were “plenty of warnings readily available to any reasonable police department that it was not safe to put a gun in the hands of such an unstable individual.”
The city of Cicero is ready to pay Munive’s family $3.5 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit out of court.
“No one would hire him except Cicero,” the attorney wrote in a court document.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi calls the revolver’s role in the shooting “extremely abnormal and troublesome.” In a formal statement to the press, Guglielmi said:
“We are opening an internal affairs investigation today to trace this gun, verify that it was taken into police custody during a turn-in and investigate how it possibly ended up back on the street.”
Failed Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke and a few others have tried to champion a gun “buyback” scenario that would be federally sponsored.
Many Second Amendment advocates strongly have resisted the notion of a “buyback” since weapons held privately were never bought from the government to begin with. That’s the major argument for these programs, but guns ending up in the hands of gang members, felons, or unscrupulous citizens is the more logical issue.
It is still unclear how this particular Smith & Wesson .38 ended up on the streets, carried by a felon, but it has cost that young man his life, a police officer his career, and the City of Cicero $3.5 million.