DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – As the gun debate continues nationally, a couple of local groups with different aims will stage events Saturday.
A gun rights group has leased a parcel of downtown Dallas land for tomorrow only. They want to help private citizens buy and sell personal fire arms.
At the exact same time as across the street, the First Presbyterian’s Stewpot—the well-known homeless program—is holding a gun buyback event.
Collin Baker of the Dallas Gun Rights Rally tells CBS 11 News he was unaware that Saturday was dubbed National Gun Appreciation Day when he leased this land for an auction and rally.
“We’re all there to support the 2nd amendment,” he said.
But he DID know of the gun buyback program across the street and generally doesn’t think much of them.
“At best, it seems they’re ineffective and at worst it seems they’re taking advantage of citizens that need the money and want to sell their firearms, and they don’t know what to do with them,” Baker claims.
His group will use the land to match prospective buyers and sellers to get fair market value for firearms.
“All we’re doing is setting an amount, letting them agree to it, and moving on to the next one.” He added, “We’ll be there to make an organized bidding to get them the best price possible, while at the same time not paying any more or any less than the open market will allow.”
Across the street, First Presbyterian’s associate pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan, insists the buyback was originally created primarily to make homes safer for children.
“All we need is one firearm taken out of a home to avoid one tragedy.”
The formerly annual buyback programs took in some 500 weapons between 2000 and 2007. It was reborn after the Newtown massacre. Offering 200-dollars for military-style weapons and 50-dollars for others, the guns were destroyed by putting them into cars headed for salvage crushers.
According to Buchanan, “There are 300 million firearms in the United States, and it’s hard to find as family or an individual who has not known personally someone who has been a victim of gun violence.”
Buchanan sometime keeps pistol grips as a reminder of a firearm’s potential danger. But he claims the buyback is not a political statement on the second amendment.
“We are just committed in creating a safer community.” Buchanan insists no one in his group was aware that Saturday was national Gun Appreciation Day; it was just a convenient time for the buyback program’s volunteers.
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