Gun fans mock Minneapolis' buyback program over crude homemade shotgun


Minneapolis Police found this homemade gun operable, qualifying it for the gun buyback program.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus loves to hate on gun buybacks.

When the City of Minneapolis announced it was collaborating with Pillsbury United Communities to stage a buyback on August 27, the Second Amendment's biggest fans took the offensive.

"… Gun buyback programs have no measurable impact on violent crime," declared Chairman Bryan Strawser. 

He'd go on to lampoon the initiative by saying how the weapons traditionally turned in aren't the kind used in the commission of crimes.

Minneapolis' event started at 10 a.m. It was promoted as part awareness campaign, part curbing violence move. 

"What I like about the initiative," said Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau in a press release, "is it is deeply personal and it brings attention and emotion to a societal issue that really affects us all. The current cycle of gun violence requires a community solutions and this will be more than a conversation starter."

It was supposed to last eight hours. At two fire stations -- on Lowry Avenue North and at East 38th Street -- there were no questions asked. In return, people who brought in guns received Visa gift cards ranging between $25 and $300.

By 2:30, the event was over. The gift cards were tapped out after about 150 firearms were handed in.

One of the guns allegedly submitted was a homemade 12-gauge shotgun. It consisted of a wooden stock attached with tape to a metal barrel. For the serial number, the amateur gunsmith scrawled in black marker: "GunBuybacksDontWork01." 

A photo of the supposed gun started making the rounds on conservative websites, where gun enthusiasts mocked it, citing it a prime example of why buybacks are a joke.

A Gun Owners Caucus post decried, "Just one of the 'highly dangerous guns turned in today at the Minneapolis 'buyback' event. The owner of this homemade shotgun received a $100 gift card." 

Right-leaning media outlets across the country quickly followed suit.

"The serial number… demonstrates the gun was created as a statement against such programs," read a story in The Washington Free Beacon yesterday.  

Turns out that's exactly what it was.

"The gun in question was turned in," says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal. "Our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that's why it was accepted." 

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