Group films gun buy back

Published 11:15 pm Monday, November 9, 2015

Several members of the Selma City Council expressed concerns Monday about how anonymous this past weekend’s gun buy back really was.

The concern centers on the fact that an out-of-town guns-right group videotaped some people who sold guns at Macedonia Apostolic Center.

“It was false advertisement because we said everything would be anonymous,” said Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw. “People are not going to come by and turn in their guns if they see video there.”

Email newsletter signup

Police Chief John Brock said the group filmed from public property and does the same thing at other gun buy backs. He said they travel around buying antique guns that have high resell value.

“They are in it for a profit. They are looking for something worth more than several hundred dollars,” Brock said.

Brock said they also could sue government and law enforcement that interfere with their filming or buying.

“They sue people. They want people to tell them to leave. Everything they were doing was legal,” Brock said. “It’s perfectly legal to sell a gun … if I made them leave, there would be a lawsuit.”

Brock acknowledged the cameras might have concerned some sellers but that the buy back was still no questions asked.

Brock said he saw a convicted felon — who couldn’t legally posses a firearm — sell back a gun.

“He got his $75, and he walked away,” Brock said.

Still, Councilwoman Angela Benjamin wondered about the buy back’s future. Fewer guns were collected this year than in the recent past.

In total, 51 guns were purchased during the buy back, which totaled $3,825. However, the last few years resulted in buy backs over $5,000.

Councilman Cecil Williamson suggested moving the buy back inside, but Benjamin said people could still be filmed coming in and out.

“It won’t be successful now if people are going to be videoed,” Benjamin said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to the gun buy back now.”