Are private gun buy-backs legal?
For decades we’ve heard about gun turn-ins – “Gun Buy-Back” programs sponsored by churches, civic groups, and various other misinformed do-gooder organizations.
The very name – buy-back – implies that guns belong not to individuals, but to the government, or at least to the people who don’t like guns.
The programs have the stated purpose of “getting guns off the street,” which seems to give operators a pass from further scrutiny, even as they offer a tangible good such as a grocery store coupon or gift card in return for a gun, “no questions asked,” much like any other fencing operation.
Finally someone has forced the question: Are these programs legal?
Attorney and author of the New Jersey Gun Law Guide, Evan Nappen, not only asked the question, he is offering a $5000 bounty for anyone who can prove an affirmative answer.
Nappen is specifically asking about the legality of a church-sponsored program in the state of New Jersey.
As an expert on New Jersey gun laws Nappen says he can find no provision in the state’s maze-like gun statutes that permit churches and civic groups, or the people surrendering (actually selling) the guns, to by-pass the thicket of New Jersey state laws that require permits, background checks, and paperwork whenever a gun is transported or transferred. . . .