A BEST BUY in Chicagoland: Selling (s)crap metal at a gun turn in

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Templar223, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. Templar223

    Templar223 Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    A “BEST BUY” in Chicagoland

    Where else can you turn this...

    On Saturday, July 21, Chicago held its largest and most generous city-sanctioned gun buy of junk and orphaned firearms. The organizers paid $100 for each firearm, regardless of age, functionality or type. Turn in locations were situated at 23 churches throughout the city.


    Guns Save Life participated in this worthy event, attracted by the offer of $100 pre-paid credit cards for any firearm!

    Guns Save Life, also known as Champaign County Rifle Association, is a regional civil rights organization famous for its Burma-style highway signs along highways and interstates throughout Illinois and beyond.

    Some of our more talked about slogan sets include:



    DIALLED 9-1-1

    …into a bunch of pre-paid $100 MasterCards.

    My story.

    by John B.

    I left Champaign-Urbana at 0530 with 27 guns in my trunk and one on my hip. Given that Chicago Police reportedly now receive one vacation day and a $300 bonus on their paychecks for each gun they confiscate, I was very cautious. Visions of a car accident and subsequent police contact and discovery of the guns in my trunk filled the back of my mind. It would surely earn me the label of "gun runner" and incarceration in the disease-ridden bowels of Chicago’s city jail.

    I'm sure the eyeballs first officer to find said guns would be wide with glee:

    "Hoo YAH! Cha-CHING, BABY! I just got a month and a half off and a free trip to Aruba!"

    I had 23 guns to turn in and didn’t want to take them all in at once as I expected that would raise suspicions. So I decided to visit three or more turn-in locations to “spread” things out. You know, take five or so into each location until I ran out of guns or they ran out of credit cards.

    I had a map with turn in locations listed and had planned to be there at 0800, so as not to get there after they ran out of cards (as almost happened to us in Joliet a few years ago when we got there at 0930 or so). I went to the best location proximate to I-90/94 and found myself in the heart of the bad-news ghetto in Chicago. Fortunately, the city’s thugs were sound asleep at this wee hour. I found the door locked at the church and nobody around. Called 311 and found that the event started at 1000.

    I killed some time by reconnoitering the second location I planned to transact business with and found a drugstore for a restroom. Returned to location #1 and guardedly read a couple of chapters of “Godless” by Ann Coulter. Towards 1000, there were a lot of folks around looking like they were going to be turning stuff in, so I grabbed two bags (of five) out of the trunk and went to the door at 1000 sharp. Didn’t want them to run out while I’m standing there with a bunch of guns. Didn’t figure they’d take too kindly to me walkin’ out with a bunch of guns in Wal-mart bags (hey, I double bagged them!) if they didn’t have enough cards.

    I stood in line there listening to a bunch of hopeless sheep bleat for half an hour. It repulsed me. "I've been blessed," one man said. "When things happen around me, like shooting or people screaming, I don't even look up."

    "I figure if something's gonna happen to me, it's gonna happen," he concluded.

    Won’t look up if he hears a woman screaming? How pathetic is that?

    Now, Chicago officials would probably tell you this program is helping to get guns out of the hands of criminals in one way or another. Well, the average age of the folks waiting in line there was about 60 and I’m not sure anyone there didn’t have at least some gray hair. Heck, tne fella next to me was on oxygen and at least one lady had a cane. These were law-abiding folk. Typically, they were there with a gun that had been in the attic or closet for the last thirty or forty years. They were not criminals or dope slingers who would use a gun to victimize anyone.

    Sure, a burglar might have stolen a gun they came across, but do we worry about our cars being stolen and used in crimes that result in good people getting hurt?

    You think about those things when you’re standing in the middle of some lousy ghetto in Chicago, disarmed and standing on a sidewalk with two bags full of guns, waiting for them to get around to opening, late.

    They finally opened at 1030. They let us in, two at a time. I was first with a real gun... or ten, in this case. Older, but very nice, cop played the gun expert, but it was clear he was no expert. I had to help him show clear on many of the guns as he was painfully slow in his inept effort at opening old wheelguns. After professing an ignorance about guns, I had to pretend to fumble around with the mechanisms. I threw in a few muzzle sweeps for good measure to make it look good. I did keep my finger off the trigger though.

    He took all ten, including the starter pistol, as real guns. Yes, a cheap .22 blank pistol that might have been used at a high school track match long ago. Not my problem that he gave us $100 for that pistol. He was just glad and happy I could show him empty cylinders, as he was initially taking about two or more minutes per gun to check them (until I started fumbling and sweeping) and there were lots of folks waiting outside.

    They gave me ten credit cards and thanked me profusely, falling all over themselves to tell me what a great thing I was doing and I reciprocated, encouraging them to do it again!. I stuffed the envelopes into my back pocket after folding them.

    I noticed that she was pulling the envelopes out of a box which contained an estimated 200 envelopes. ($100 x 200 = $20,000 x 23 locations = About a half-million in support of this program from someone. Looking back, it seems like a pretty fair estimate!) Separate box for the $10 cards for pellet guns and replicas. Similar number of envelopes there.

    I left the building in condition orange, watching for any thugs waiting to ambush anyone coming out. The suspicious character watching me carefully with my two bags of guns wasn’t there any longer. Got into the car across the street and was giddy with excitement. I had just sold $10 worth of scrap plus maybe a $50 5-shot .22 "affordable" wheel gun for $1000! It seemed too good to be true!

    On to location #2. I was a little worried, since I was a half-hour behind schedule, thanks to the late open at the first church. Still no thug-types on the sidewalks even though it was approaching 1100. I had reconnoitered the location #2 earlier, so it was effortless to find after a few minutes and a single turn. Found a parking spot fairly close to the door.

    That was a good thing, because I had nine long guns in two bags, plus another small bag of handguns to go and I was still deep in the rough part of the nation’s murder capital (or close runner up). About forty awkward pounds of rusty (s)crap. I mulled over whether or not to split this into two take-ins (at location #2 and then #3), but decided that based upon my warm reception at location #1, I'd just take them all in.

    Oops. One rusty revolver fell out of one of the bags on my way in and skittered across the sidewalk. Ah, crap. I picked it up and palmed it. Whew! Glad nobody saw that.

    In I went, greeted warmly. "Whoa! I see you've got some guns!" says the lady at the door. She must have noticed the barrels sticking out of the plastic bag or maybe the rusty clunker in my palm. Clearly, she must have been a detective.

    Waited in line, watching "the room". Hot shot young guy was clearing the guns on the table by the door. Very "friendly", but invasive at the same time. Classic "good cop". I’m sure he’d be a good buddy – if you were a fellow cop.

    Guns were getting really heavy. I put them down. Whew!

    Finally, after the 70-year-old man ahead of me has a pump action bird gun and a single-shot break-open shottie checked, it’s my turn.

    I hand the bag with the sawed-off rifle and a pistol or two in it to the hall monitor after asking her ever-so-sweetly if she could hand the bag to the “nice young man” otherwise identified as Hotshot while I dragged forty-plus awkward pounds towards the table. She did, handling it like it had fresh dog feces inside.

    "Hey, howya doin'" he greets me. "All these unloaded?"

    "I dunno. I think so. I'm not real big on guns." My toes were crossed.

    He has trouble getting the guns out of the duct-taped bag. I instinctively reached for my blade, which was not there because its four and a half-inch blade would have landed me in the slammer in disarmed-victim Chicago. Instead, I had my little Spyderco in my pocket (not clipped), but I wasn’t going to let them grab that as its blade was 2 1/2 inches long (also in violation of the 2” rule in Chicago).

    “One of you guys got a knife to help him open this up?” I asked.

    They all looked at one another like I just asked them for a gold brick or something. Not one of five cops had a blade. How sad.

    Finally, some little old lady brings a pair of $1.00 scissors and Hotshot cuts the tape, with some difficulty.

    He starts checking them, and notices the rust on his hands from a couple of really choice specimens. You could get tetanus from these if you had any open sores.

    "Didja hit a bunch of pawn shops or something?" He asked. "Hey, Benny, come look at these."

    Benny comes over and starts sweating me. He's playing "bad cop" in a restrained way. Same questions, only a lot more assertive. "Where'd you get all these? You buy them to bring here?"

    They broke me in about as long as it takes in CSI or one of those other cheesy TV cop shows for David Caruso’s character to break down the bad guy’s will.

    "Uh. No, they aren't really mine. They belonged to my grandfather and his father. I sold the decent ones and had this stuff in the attic for a long time until I saw you guys were giving $100 cards for any old guns."

    Midway through his clearing of the guns, Hotshot motions for me to come closer while he was holding one of the guns.

    "Hey, did you know this one was one of our sniper rifles from World War II?" he asked. "See this here," he noted, pointing at the elevation mechanism for the broken rear sight, "this is the windage adjustment."

    I think I was able to keep a straight face, but it was really hard.

    "Wow. If I'd have known that, I mighta kept that one," I replied. It was a broken down, 60s-era, hardware-store, tubular-fed .22 long rifle pump gun with the tube hanging out of the receiver. I later told this to the guy who donated this gun to the club, and he laughed. "It must have been a one-of-a-kind custom gun!" he said with a hearty laugh.

    After showing clear on all thirteen, Benny showed me to the "money table." Similar number of envelopes, only the box was only 2/3 full here. Another woman was busy making notes for each of 13 envelopes and putting labels on the guns. I sashayed over to the other end of the table and had a peek at the "pistol" box. Total junk. Pot metal wheel guns. Maybe a couple of S&Ws, but more likely, just patent-infringement guns from no-name makers. No modern semi-autos.

    "Hey you, get over here." Oops, they caught me eyeballing their treasure.

    I sheepishly returned.

    They gave me the envelopes and watched suspiciously as I verified the count. Gave them a big thumbs up and a smile and turned to leave. It was like they had formed a reception line behind me. Four or five of the women wanted to shake my hand and thank me profusely. Even took my photo with a big shot there. I remembered to stick my middle finger out a lot further than the rest of my fingers while trying to hold a fanned out stack of envelopes for the photo.

    Ugh! Got out of there and I ran out of hand sanitizer and baby wipes in the car wiping the funk off my hands.

    PLEASE NOTE: Everyone, including the CPD officers were very polite and kind (well, with the exception of ‘Benny’ who was trying to grind me at a “no questions asked” event, but he was still an okay guy). They all meant well, even if they weren’t nearly as proficient in handling firearms as they thought they were.

    In my opinion, they should secure some of those “safe zone” pads or maybe old body armor as a safe backstop when handling these very old and possibly malfunction-prone guns (because of rusted firing pins or other issues). They might also do well to ask for firearms aficionados to help to volunteer to show these guns clear, because clearly (pun intended), the folks I witnessed fooling around with these guns were about in over their heads. Of course, it will be a cold day in hell before any of the “noble” class as for help from the peasants in Chicago.

    We would like to thank the City of Chicago and George Soros, or whoever underwrote this program for their generosity. We think it will result in a safer society, just not exactly in the way Mayor Daley would have you believe.


    So, Guns Save Life ended up netting $1700 worth of MasterCards from the event after those who split their donations with the club were “paid” in cards. The club has sold a dozen of its own cards to members for cash.

    The last five of the cards are going to be spent at Darrell’s Custom Guns in Cayuga, IN for two CZ bolt-action .22s to be given away to two lucky kids participating in the NRA Youth Shooting Camp coming up over the first weekend in August.

    All of the money (and then some) will be spent purchasing ammo for the kids to use during the camp or the rifles. The camp, located in Bloomington at Darnall’s, is the longest running NRA Youth Shooting Camp in the nation.

    NRA Youth Shooting Camps teach young people gun safety and safe and responsible firearm use. Kids get a chance to shoot shotguns, rifles, handguns, black powder guns, archery and so much more as instructed by State and/or NRA Certified Instructors (like me) and/or Olympic-level shooting coaches.

    I’m proud to say that Guns Save Life is a major supporter of Darnall’s NRA Youth Shooting Camp, donating thousands of dollars in ammunition to shoot, firearms as prizes for the kids, and dozens of volunteers including numerous instructors and staff. I’m quite proud to say that I’m vice-president of the organization and couldn’t be prouder at what we’ve accomplished this last two weeks. We rounded up these guns on short notice, executed our plan to sell them to Chicago and converted the gun sale money into education for young people about the safe and responsible use of firearms.

    It’s sweet poetic justice here for Mayor Daley’s CPD Gun Buy.

    You accounting wizards have probably figured out that I didn’t turn in the personal defense pieces that I keep in my trunk, especially when going to dangerous places like Cook County. No, I love my Garand. There are many like it, but this one is mine. As is my Beretta.

    And they sure weren’t getting the pistol in my fanny pack!

  2. bill larry

    bill larry Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    :D I love you.
  3. strat81

    strat81 Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    What's that they say about "Unintended Consequences?" ROFLMAO.

    I owe you a beer.
  4. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    UK and Texas
    Stick it to 'em. I'd normally say the money would be best spend on an AR or an AK, but you've got a good cause going. It really is for the children! :)
  5. rugerdude

    rugerdude Member

    Aug 14, 2004
    Wow....you sir, deserve a medal! Excellent work and the irony couldn't be thicker!

    Haha, very nice work.:)
  6. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Wooster, Ohio
    Excellent work. I would have had a hard time keeping a straight face also. Turn in guns for money, to get guns and ammo. Thanks Mayor Daly, for being a moron.
  7. granuale

    granuale Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Templar, you are my hero. I just found out about thehighroad, and yours was the first post I read. I'll be sticking around.

  8. GhostlyKarliion

    GhostlyKarliion Member

    Dec 5, 2006
    if you are ever in OK, we can spend a day at the range on me! with all you can eat buffet afterwards!

    awesome, and wonderful. keep up the good work!

    BADUNAME13 Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Gulf Coast
    I'm WAITING for a gun buyback near me so I can do the same!
  10. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    Orange County California
    How exactly is helping these jokers get "guns off of the street" a good thing? Alright, you walked away with some cash, but a couple of those revolvers looked like they were still functional. You probably could have disposed of them through other chanells without bolstering their turn-in numbers.

    Personally, I'd be damned before participating in any program like this, regardless of the circumstances.
  11. coyote_jr

    coyote_jr member

    Jul 31, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Awesome story. Kudos to you.
  12. LadySmith

    LadySmith Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    Absolutely wonderful. What a great story!
  13. silverlance

    silverlance Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    In my Foxhole
    sounds great.

    i would have bought that tt-30 /33 for 100$ though =)

  14. igpoobah

    igpoobah Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Outstanding, and an entertaining read to be sure.
  15. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Great job!

    Better you than me....I could never, ever have kept a straight face!
  16. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    I have to agree with Mauserguy - good cause or not, you helped further a perception that these "gun buybacks" do something good. They'll have a press conference soon, and show Joe & Jane taxpayer all the nasty ol' guns they kept off the streets, and Joe & Janie will sigh a great big sigh of relief. Good for those concerned souls, offering money to rid our streets of the menace of guns!

    Not trying to be a jerk, but these programs are nothing but gun-grabbery, and in the public eye no less. Sure, you and your fellow gun club members know how much of a trick you pulled on dumb ol' Daley, but to the majority of the public they'll never see that. They'll see the piles of guns that they bought from foolish citizens just like you, and they'll see your smiling faces holding your $100 gift cards, probably funded straight from your own pockets.
  17. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    A suggestion - Next time, how about donating all those guns to a gunsmithing school, or to the youth shooting program your group already donates to, in case they have an interest in starting up a gunsmithing program?

    Or hell, how about giving/selling 'em to Numrich, so maybe one of us shooters can benefit from the replacement parts? At leas that way they'll have some chance of a useful life, instead of being destined for the junk pile or smelter after the gun-grabbers get through with their little publicity stunt?
  18. Templar223

    Templar223 Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    We'll be happy to donate non-shooting junk...

    To anyone willing to buy them for $100 each.

    Of the 23 guns I sold them, maybe five would actually fire. One or two of those if you could find the now obscure cartridges.

    Yeah, we'll donate these to Numrich or any gunsmithing school willing to pay $100 each for fifty cents' worth of scrap metal.

    Castigate us if you like, but you're selling yourselves short.

    And the publicity of doing this...


  19. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Lockport, IL
    I loved reading that. Especially because I live outside Chicago, and refuse to live in "Crook" County because of the curruption. You definately should be commended for your "turning trash into treasure" plan, benifiting a pro-gun cause. I hope "Mayor D" read this thread. Good work!
  20. springmom

    springmom Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Spring TX
    Nicely done. If you ever get down to Texas, we'd love to buy you a beer.

    (Once again, we need an applause smiley!)

  21. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Well, I see your point doing it, but, me personally, I'd of had a blast working through that pile of old guns, getting them to work again (but I certainly wouldn't of paid $100 each either ;)).

    Funniest sight I've ever seen, from pictures of these buybacks, was a pile of old revolvers missing their cylinders at one...sure glad those are off the street.:rolleyes:
  22. American_Pit_Bull

    American_Pit_Bull Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    I wouldn't give a Gun Buy-Back event the oldest, non-functioning, worthless firearm that I own...

    You are just padding their statistics and helping them tout their so-called success.

    You think that you are sticking it to them, but you are helping them more than anything.
    They could care less where the money goes; these buy-backs are publicity events and they know it..
    So you aren't really sticking it to them, who are you sticking it to??
    It's the tax payers that are paying for it.. So if you are sticking it to anyone, you are sticking it to the tax payers.

    You can't sway my strong 2A stance for $100...
    If you needed $1700 for a kids shooting program, I am sure that you could have raised the money in other ways, rather than by your club supporting a group that is fighting against your rights. I hope the kids are too young to realize this hypocrisy.
  23. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Member

    Apr 12, 2007
  24. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    So you'd rather pocket a measly $100 than keep guns out of the hands of idiot gun-grabbers who want to strip your rights away? You're really comfortable with saying that?

    If so, I don't really know what else to say to you, other than thanks for the stab in the back. But hey, at least you got more than 30 pieces of silver, huh?:rolleyes:

    Seriously - You'd knowingly give WORKING guns to anti-gunners, during an anti-gun publicity program? And for profit? AND tell us that you'd rather do that, as long as THEY PAY YOU, than donate them to a school or organization that would use them to teach others about guns in a responsible manner?



    And just a few other questions:

    Since when are WORKING guns considered "scrap metal"?

    Since when are WORKING guns considered "worthless" simply because they're chambered in hard-to-find calibers?

    Honestly, I'd like an answer. I'd like to know why it was more important to give these guns to individuals who would happily DESTROY them, than it was for you to donate them to be used as learning tools, or replacement parts for active shooters.
  25. Phelptwan

    Phelptwan Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    That was awesome.
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