February 28th, 2011
Got guns? If you want to get rid of some, the Austin Police Department will trade you guns for some grocery money. It’s a part of their “no questions asked” guns for groceries campaign, and on Saturday, officers will met with opposition and competition.
Instead of guns for groceries, Texans for Accountable Government will be out here offering cash for guns. And instead of disposing of them, like APD will, the group said it’s going to gift the guns to citizens who want to arm themselves.
“We don’t appreciate these gun grabbing efforts,” said John Bush. “Firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens makes communities safer. We think that the economically disadvantaged is the most susceptible to crime. Those are the people that should arm themselves.”
Bush said his group is ready to strike a cash deal with those who show up at APD’s event at Oak Meadow Baptist Church in south Austin. They plan to outbid APD.
“We’ll be giving $110 for pistols, rifles, $220 for sporting rifles,” said Bush.
The guns will then be gifted to other activists in Austin who want to arm themselves, but may not have the money too do so.
Their efforts are legal.
“This is not the wild wild west. This is 2011 and many people have been killed unfortunately with weapons or irresponsible,” said Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder.
Linder said baring arms is a constitutional right, but he said there are other ways to protect yourself. He supports APD’s Guns for Grocery program because he said it gets guns out troubled neighborhoods.
“I’d like the NAACP take a lesson from the civil rights movement . From the black panther party. They knew that the police officers were not protecting their rights. In fact, they were violating their rights, so they armed themselves,” said Bush.
“I think John Bush is a typical know it all about black people and he’s misguided,” said Linder. “They were a very peaceful organization. I think Bush should get his history right and read about what the black panthers really did which is primarily education.”
Bush said he’s already secured $2,000 to buy guns Saturday morning. He said the guns will not be donated to people with criminal records or others who, by law, are not allowed buy weapons.
The Austin Police Department issued this statement in response to all of this:
“The Austin Police Department supports the right of any group to express their political beliefs or views in a lawful manner.”
The pastor of Oak Meadow Baptist Church said Bush and his supporters are not allowed on his property during the Guns for Groceries event. Bush said he’ll stay on the public right of way. Buying guns and donating them is not illegal. It is illegal for someone to sell guns to make profit. That would require a gun dealer license.
Guns For Cards and Guns For Cash
2/26/11 – myFOXaustin(AUSTIN) – Austin Police say they have found a way to get unwanted guns off the streets. With their 2nd Annual Guns for Groceries campaign, they offered a $100 grocery gift card for handguns, rifles, and shotguns and a $200 gift card for assault rifles.
But not everyone was locked and loaded on the idea.
“There’s nothing wrong or illegal with private citizens purchasing firearms,” said John Bush, with Texans for Accountable Government.
Bush and others from Texans for Accountable Government offered a better deal with $110 dollars in cash for a pistol, rifle or shotgun and $220 dollars for assault rifles.
“It’s been a great success. We’ve purchased several firearms,” said Bush. “We’re hoping to encourage Austinites and Texans to exercise their rights to privately purchase firearms. We want to show it’s not only simple, it’s also lawful.
The group says they will donate the guns they bought to other citizens who want or possibly need them.
“We’re going to double check and make sure everyone can lawfully receive the firearms before we give to them,” said Bush.
Keith Bradley is a local gun collector. He and a few others were looking to buy guns Saturday but say in situations where people are giving away their guns voluntarily, the quality of guns isn’t good.
“You’re going to find 80 percent of the weapons being turned in today are non functional. They’re rusted out, they’re garbage,” said Bradley.
He says he supports the 2nd amendment and says the gun for groceries doesn’t make sense to him.
“You don’t have gang bangers driving up here dropping off 9 millimeters,” said Bradley.
Austin Police understand that but they add their mission is to get unwanted guns out of homes and out of a potential burglar’s reach.