Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Georgia Law Enforcement Looking Into Gun Turn-in Operation

Friday, August 25, 2017

Georgia Law Enforcement Looking Into Gun Turn-in Operation

Gun buy backs (more appropriately termed turn-ins) are a misguided and ineffective tactic for combating violent crime, and those that continue to champion them accomplish little more than revealing their own ignorance. With no expectations that turn-ins will affect crime, the very least the organizers of these anti-gun rituals should be expected to do is to follow the law and not actively harm public safety. Recent reports from Savannah, Ga. suggest that turn-in organizers in that city may have been unable to meet these most basic criteria. 

Last November, Savannah Youth City, Inc. and City Alderman Van Johnson unveiled an ongoing gun turn-in initiative to a fawning press, who soon deemed the program a success. The group offered $50 to $200 per firearm and solicited donations via a GoFundMe account. Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin appeared at a press conference announcing the turn-in effort, but the department had no formal role in the initiative.

Program organizers made noise about how the guns collected through the program would be destroyed. Under Georgia Code § 17-5-52.1, “all firearms that are forfeited or abandoned to any law enforcement agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state,” must be sold “to persons who are licensed as firearms collectors, dealers, importers, or manufacturers,” rather than destroyed. This ensures that firearms acquired by the police re-enter the lawful stream of commerce and provides for an additional source revenue for the state and localities. 

Opposed to this sensible provision, the Savannah turn-in organizers made clear they would not hand over any weapons they had collected to the police. Instead, the group would work with other groups to destroy the firearms. Reports indicate that the program collected about 30 firearms in total. 

On August 17, Chatham County Manager Lee Smith wrote to District Attorney Meg Heap requesting “an investigation of the Savannah Youth City, Inc. Gun buy-back program, process of buy-back, securing of firearms, etc.” In turn, on August 18, Heap contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), and requested that the law enforcement agency conduct a criminal investigation into “Savannah Youth City, Inc.’s buy-back program and possible theft of firearms from the program.” That same day, GBI Region 5 Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodrey told the Savannah Morning News that the agency was “about to start looking into” the allegations.

Elaborating on his request for an investigation, Smith told reporters, “We had concerns about [the program], and I had gotten calls in my office.” Smith added, “Guns are purchased off the street all the time. There are programs all around the nation like this, which, there are good programs. But guns have to be safely held.” As a result of Smith’s inquiry, the guns possessed by Savannah Youth City, Inc. have been turned over to the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team. 

For their part, the turn-in organizers have defended their program. Savannah Youth City, Inc. Director Beverlee Trotter told Savannah’s WTOC, “I think that the gun buyback program is positive.” Alderman Johnson issued a written statement that defended the turn-in initiative and called Georgia’s law preventing the destruction of publicly held firearms “outrageous.” Lashing out at Georgia’s elected officials, Johnson contended, “If we had laws in Georgia that protected people more than guns, then gun buy back programs would not be necessary. 

The Savannah Youth City, Inc. program is not the first turn-in to face significant scrutiny in recent years. In 2014, Philadelphia Safety Net (PSN), which ran a “Goods for Guns” turn-in program was audited by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General in relation to its use of an $800,000 grant. According to the audit report, the DOJ’s OIG “determined that PSN used $479,183, approximately 62 percent of $771,137 in grant funding received from OJP, for expenses we identified as (1) unallowable, (2) unsupported, and/or (3) unreasonable.”

It is important to note that GBI has made clear that they are only in the preliminary stages of investigating Manager Smith’s concerns, and at this point Smith’s concerns are merely allegations. Near the end of his written statement, Alderman Johnson noted, “Investigations are necessary to establish facts and as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is Georgia’s leading investigatory agency, I look forward to their findings.” On this point, NRA and Johnson agree.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee considered and passed multiple anti-gun measures. 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

You likely recall we mentioned a new anti-gun organization recently formed, which was billed as the brainchild of actress Alyssa Milano.  You may also recall that we reported her group, NoRA, had made the vaguely threatening proclamation, ...

News  

Friday, April 27, 2018

NRA Statement on Yeti

The National Rifle Association released the following statement from in response to Yeti’s inaccurate statements:

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

The headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their ...

California: New Gut and Amend Aimed at Gun Shows

Monday, May 21, 2018

California: New Gut and Amend Aimed at Gun Shows

Late last week, Senate Bill 221, until recently dealt with “Criminal Fines: HIV Prevention and Education,” was gutted and amended to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Cow Palace starting January 1, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.