Apparently this buyback was a total bust. It combined two of the worst issues - the prosecution of dumb wars and civilian disarmament. So it’s failure is something that freedom-minded individuals should have hoped for.
According to a report by Kevin Sona and Lee Williams at AmmoLand, the firearms “bought back” were supposed to be sent off to Ukraine to help Ukrainian forces fend off Russia as its forces invade the country. During this buyback, called “GUNS 4 UKRAINE”, police provide gift cards in exchange for weapons. For example, $50 for a handgun, $100 for a shotgun or rifle, and $150 for a so-called “high powered rifle.” The final firearm could be a .223 caliber, AR-15, or AK-47 rifle.
The one problem with this plan is that shipping firearms to a foreign country without an adequate export license is a violation of federal law. Specifically, this federal law is the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
In addition, as Sona and Williams noted, this buyback would have violated Florida Statute 790.08. This statute regulates what law enforcement can do with firearms or other weapons that they get their hands on. Under this statute, law enforcement bodies can use the weapons, loan them out to another law enforcement agency, destroy them or sell them.
However, the statute mandates law enforcement agencies to deposit all money raised from the sale into the state treasury. These funds would be subsequently allocated towards the State School Fund.
Most importantly, this statute does not allow law enforcement agencies to send the arms to a foreign military.
Sona, himself, was at this event and witnessed this flop of a gun buyback program. They stood by three tents where the transactions were taking place.
The amusing part about all of this is that police started pushing observers back. Sona and Williams noted that police pushed the onlookers “back farther and farther away – a total of eight times.”
When it was all said and done, the onlookers were pushed back over 150 yards away from the tents.
One wonders what Miami Police were trying to hide. Sona and Williams figured that it was likely due to how the Miami police were in violation of ITAR and did not have an export license to ship firearms to a foreign country.
Miami officials sent a written statement to Lee Williams in which they admitted that they didn’t have any export paperwork.
Sona claims that 10 to 15 guns in total were “bought back” by police. The majority were “old single-shot or bolt-action rifles and shotguns.” There were also several homemade firearms that were bought back.
In addition, Sona noted the following:
“In my opinion, this was 100-percent staged,” Sona commented. “They got about a dozen guns, maybe, and we did not see a single modern sporting rifle – not one AK or AR.”
To be clear, no ARs or AKs were seen. However, Miami Police would later claim they recovered more than 60 firearms, and they released a photo of an officer with an AK on their social media.
It's good to see a gun buyback, especially one that encourages foreign policy stupidity such as prolonging a proxy war in Russia, go down in flames. Hopefully, more gun buybacks turn into duds nationwide.
José Niño is a freelance writer and political analyst based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter on political strategy here. Subscribe to his Substack here.
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