July 31, 2014
By Robert W. Hunnicutt
Gun owners find gun "buybacks" offensive, not least because of the name, which implies that somehow guns are being retrieved from the wrong hands and returned to their proper home, the government.
They do, however, offer some opportunities for creative fundraising, as demonstrated by the Illinois group Guns Save Life. If you've traveled the Land of Lincoln, you've probably seen their Burma Shave-style sign sets along the interstates and byways.
GSL carted a truckload of broken junker guns up to Chicago for a big turn-in day and netted more than $6,000 that it used to buy ammo for summer youth shooting camps. The GSL members had to endure some snarls from Chicago cops, but eventually got $100 for each gun turned in, and we are using "gun" here in the BATF sense of any metal object with a serial number on it.
This year's camp drew more than 150 kids 9-16 who got the chance to shoot all sorts of guns, try several different shooting sports and camp out. It's hard to think of a better last service for a lot of old top-break revolvers, hammer doubles and sporterized surplus guns. In a few years, those kids will be happily buying new guns, certainly something the buyback organizers hardly planned.