Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Compton Weapon Exchange

The Los Angeles Times reports on the surprise customer who turned up at their gun exchange this week.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies expected heavy business Tuesday during the department's "gift for guns" program in Compton.

And sure enough, scores of people lined up to turn in various weapons in exchange for supermarket gift certificates.

But they were surprised at the man who pulled up in an SUV with 58 guns -- mostly small handguns but also some assault weapons. Dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, the mystery man offered his cache in a nonchalant fashion.

As is the policy for such events, the deputies asked no questions and eagerly took the guns. They don't know the man's name, and the donor declined to comment to The Times.

After unloading his weapons, the man received several thousands of dollars in supermarket coupons and drove away.

Sebastian once said he doesn't have a big problem with these exchange programs except for the fact that some valuable older guns might get collected and destroyed. That made me wonder if the cops in charge of the destruction sometimes take a thing or two out for themselves. That's what they do with the drugs and the cash they confiscate, isn't it?

The Compton exchange Tuesday garnered 232 guns, all of which will be destroyed. The Gift for Guns program has been a staple of the Sheriff's Department's crime reduction efforts in Compton, which has seen a drop in homicides in recent years.

Countywide, the program has taken 5,000 guns off the streets throughout L.A. County. At the Santa Clarita station earlier this year, one person dropped off a 20mm artillery shell and another person left 11 guns, including a Thompson .45-caliber submachine gun, an SKS assault rifle and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

To me these are wonderful programs, which although only drops in the old proverbial bucket, actually save lives.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.


  1. I'd be suspicious of a person who turned in 58 guns. Were they all junk guns? Why not go to a gun store and at least get your money's worth? Did they check to see if the guns were stolen?

    My first thought is that the guns are stolen and that there is no better way to get rid of a truckload of hot property than a no-questions-asked buy back.

  2. Here we have cops who are destroying evidence.

    What better way to get rid of the murder weapon than to have the cops destroy them and pay you for it.

    Shame on them.

  3. MAYBE the cops are that stupid and unprofessional where YOU live. I'm just gonna make a wildass guess here, though. I'm thinking they might have taken a few minutes out of their donut eating, Irish Coffee drinking and watching re-runs of "Reno 911" to see if the guns have serial numbers on them. They also might--I know this defies belief--have videotaped that feller's fiz, his license plate and ride or the entire exchange. They have been known to do such things.

  4. I love it. Those "assault weapons" are movie props. Look at the closeup.

    For the anti gun loons here: no charging handles, no rear sight, no fire control selector, no magazine release and they were painted.

    The great gun "buyback"!


  5. Even one smashed gun is an asset to human life.

  6. Well of course FWM - You didn't really expect the anti-gunners to be truthful did you?

  7. Muddie, How about 58 smashed toy guns that the taxpayers spent $14,100 to get a hold of? Drive-by's in Compton will surely fall now.

    These feelgood programs are a joke but I guess they accomplish what they set out to do--they get to make the sheep think that the city is doing something,the paper gets a news story and a bunch of anti-gun loons get to say silly things in support of it.

  8. Mikeb: "To me these are wonderful programs, which although only drops in the old proverbial bucket, actually save lives."

    That's a "makes sense to me" claim, rather than a "proven to have occurred in most placed where it was tried" claim, right?

  9. My guess is that this man was the representative of some gun rights group, and this was a fund-raising activity. I recall reading of a similar buyback in the Chicago area, where the members of a club donated all their broken and crap guns (including a couple of BB guns and non-firing replicas) and the money was used for youth firearms training.

    Presence or lack of a serial number might be a clue, but it isn't conclusive--many replicas have a "serial number", although likely the same on all replicas.

  10. "That's a "makes sense to me" claim, rather than a "proven to have occurred in most placed where it was tried" claim, right?"

    Yes, that's right, I don't deny it.

    Sevesteen, Are you saying you don't agree with FatWhiteMan's idea that those guns are movie props?

  11. "MAYBE the cops are that stupid and unprofessional where YOU live."

    And apparently they are that stupid and unprofessional in Compton.

  12. I think it is probable that the rifles shown are drill team rifles or similar--either permanently deactivated or somewhat realistic replicas incapable of being restored to working condition. Apparently they were giving $100 per gun, a small fraction of the value of even a poor condition AR-15--I think it unlikely that someone with a shopping cart full of real AR's would give up several thousand dollars of value. Also, although I am only marginally familiar with the AR-15, comparing the buybacks to a real one shows that they are missing a safety and I believe mag release.

    My point about serial numbers--Before 1968, serial numbers were not required. There are replicas with serial numbers, and there are deactivated guns that are not considered firearms by law that would retain their serial number.

    Police are not generally firearms experts.

  13. No, thanks. I'd rather keep my firearms. I like them too much.

  14. Those stupid cops bought fake guns.

    That's rich.

    That'll sure cut down on all the fake crime.

  15. I think it's pretty funny too that the cops in Compton may have accepted fake guns or drill team useless weapons. Maybe they do that to make the numbers look better and justify what they do. Whatever.

    I still think there would be that occasional granny who takes her baby-child's handgun when he's sleeping off last night's partying. Any cases like that would have a direct and positive impact.

  16. I don't think that theft, even of an "icky" handgun, is the right way to do things. If granny knows that he's a criminal of some sort she should turn him in, not his pistol.

  17. "If granny knows that he's a criminal of some sort she should turn him in, not his pistol."

    You're acting as if gun controllers are actually interested in taking criminals off the street. They just want the guns, even if it means giving the criminal temporary immunity at a no-questions-asked movie prop/evidence buyback rally.