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Competing Texas Gun Buyback Events This Saturday

Emily Trube KRLD Emily Trube
  Emily Trube started a career in broadcast journalism in 2003, after...
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DALLAS (KRLD) – A coalition of groups are calling this Saturday, January 19, “Gun Appreciation Day.” According to the event’s website, groups including the 2nd Amendment Foundation and Women Warriors are urging people to support gun shops and ranges this weekend to “send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Barack Obama.”

This weekend there will be two competing gun buyback events being held in Dallas.  One meant to take guns out of circulation permanently, and the other strictly for personal acquisition — but both will be giving cash for the weapons and asking no questions.

The First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and The Stewpot are hosting a gun buyback event at 1822 Young Street.  Reverend Bruce Buchanan said the church will offer $50 for handguns and long guns and up to $200 for military-style weapons. The guns will be destroyed, with the metal ground up and re-purposed by a local company.

“We haven’t had a gun buyback since 2007,” Rev. Buchanan said.  “The tragedy in Connecticut was so heartbreaking and we wanted to do something.”

Across the street from First Presbyterian, an organization launched in 2012 called The Rights Group will be holding a weapons for cash event as well, along with a 2nd Amendment rally.  President Collin Baker told KRLD NewsRadio 1080 that they will be offering “fair market value” for weapons and that the guns will not be destroyed.

“Private collectors will be setting up a mini-market place right there,” Baker explained.  But he said the guns will not be re-sold. “We will run all of the serial numbers by Dallas police.  Any firearms that come back stolen will be returned to Dallas police so that they can be returned to their owners. Any guns that were involved in a crime will be returned to the Dallas police for them to further their investigation.”

This won’t be the first gun buyback event at First Presbyterian and Rev. Buchanan said he is not aware of any illegal weapons being collected during the church events.  He said the church began doing gun buybacks in 2000 and have collected some 500 weapons since then, by and large from people who bought the firearm years before and then decided they no longer wanted it. “If there is a common demographic, it would be a young adult with a new family.  They bought the weapon  when they were living on their own. Now that there are children in the house, they want to get rid of it.”

Both the First Presbyterian Church’s gun buyback event and The Rights Group’s “gun rescue” event are considered private sales by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).   Current law does not regulate private sales of firearms.  A spokesperson with the ATF told KRLD that because neither the church nor the private collectors will be re-selling the guns, no permit is required.

Both groups said Dallas police has been made aware of the events.