Gun Shop owner says New Albany was scammed during gun buyback - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gun Shop owner says New Albany was scammed during gun buyback event

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The city of New Albany, Ind. paid a total of $50,000 to fund a gun buyback program to get 250 weapons off the street -- and a local gun shop owner says the city got scammed.

Maj. Keith Whitlow of the New Albany Police Dept. ran down the list of the types of weapons collected:  "Handguns, rifles, shotguns, assault weapons from residents of New Albany."

The weapons were collected during New Albany's gun buyback program. Those weapons were destroyed. More than 250 firearms were snapped in half with a powerful metal shearing machine.

Maj. Whitlow says, "Our hope was that we could make the community a little safer by taking guns out of homes where people really didn't want them."

When officers hosted the buyback event in December, the line stretched down the block. They handed out $50,000 in cash in just 90 minutes.

But Kenny Allen of K2 Precision Gunsmithing says, "Definitely, people were working the system." He says after the city's money ran out, his business shot up: "It gave people money and the opportunity to go buy a better gun. That's exactly what happened."

If you bring a gun to a gun store, you're liable to receive $50 or $60. New Albany was paying $200 for handguns and $300 for assault rifles.

The system was simple -- give a gun, get the cash.  It was open to all New Albany residents, no questions asked.  Allen says, "I don't believe the firearms that were being maliciously used on the street were standing in line to be bought back by New Albany."

Whitlow told WDRB's Gilbert Corsey his officers tracked every weapon turned in through a national crime information center database. We found a lot of guns that had serial numbers entered in as stolen, but when we followed up on it we found it was not the gun that we had. So we did not find any guns that were stolen or wanted by law enforcement."

Meanwhile, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan says, "If we can get some private contributions as well as some city funds I think it's possible we could have another event in the future."

And Allen, who both sells and buys guns, hopes it come back, too.

Freedom Metals in Louisville destroyed the guns at no cost to the police department. WDRB News has been told the metal from the guns will be recycled for other uses.


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