Neglected old firearms, relics get big headlines at gun 'buyback' events (VIDEOS)

While local media gave a lot of ink to the breadth and depth of a few events where unwanted guns and curios were turned in, a closer look at the footage from the events shows something else.

Like a whole lot of rust and junk.

In the above B-roll footage from WTNH News8 in New Haven, Connecticut, organizers and police inventory a few tables of firearms collected last weekend there. Observed are at least one percussion muzzleloader, an old Sheridan pistol coated in surface rust, an Enfield .303 rifle that looks like it was unearthed from the Somme, a variety of shotguns– including an old SXS with really short barrels– and other odds and ends. While there are a few interesting pieces– an M1 Carbine scanned over may be worth a second look and there is what seems to be a very nice old Winchester cowboy gun– most of what is shown wouldn’t get your average firearms collector to pump the brakes at a community center gun show.

However, the number of guns turned over, 168, was reported by Connecticut Public Radio to be the record haul at such an event in the area, and the guns are set to be recycled into garden tools for state inmates.

“They’re going to plant crops with those gardening tools and those crops then get donated, in part at least, to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and to those in need,” said New Haven Police spokesman Officer David Hartman. “You’re going from a working implement of death and destruction to a carrot.”

(Working?)

Now for news from the opposite coast!

In a buyback event in San Francisco, a “bazooka” was handed over, as the raw footage from CBS SF Bay Area below shows.

While not an actual classic M1 Bazooka from WWII or any of its larger cousins that served the U.S. military through the 1960s, the item shown off for the camera is an inert AT4 single-shot recoilless rocket launcher. They are widely available for about $250 cash and carry without regulation. They make neat man-cave decor, but odds are no one is going to hold up a liquor store with one.

According to Rudy Corpuz Jr., executive director of United Playaz, the group that spent $50,000 for the 188 items purchased at the event last Saturday, the weekend was a big check in the win box.

“It’s important because every gun that we destroy and we get off the street is a potential gun that could have killed somebody or destroyed a whole universe — just one of those guns,” said Corpuz.

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