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http://www.southtownstar.com/news/1149277,090708gunbuyback.article

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Gun buyback shut down after 30 minutes

September 7, 2008Recommend (3)

BY Shenequa A. Golding, Staff Writer
Blue Island police shut down a "Turn in Your Gun Day" Saturday organized by a mayoral hopeful.

Tommy Brown, 38, offered $100 for every gun turned in from 9 a.m. to noon at the Redemption Theater, 12952 S. Western Ave.

Brown, who has lived in the city his entire life, said he's doing what he thinks is best.

"I'm doing what I feel is proactive to get the guns off the streets," Brown said. "Today we have taken nine guns off the streets of Blue Island."

John Castilla, a friend and business partner of Brown, said he helped raise $10,000 for the event. Castilla hoped to collect 100 guns.

However, Blue Island Police Chief Douglas Hoglund shut down the event just 30 minutes after it began. Hoglund said the building didn't have a business license and no one authorized by a law enforcement agency was there to take possession of the traded-in guns.

"Any transfer of firearms that doesn't go to a state agency is a Class 1 felony," Hoglund said.

Brown was warned beforehand by the city not to conduct the firearm trade-in event, but he went ahead anyway.

Hoglund said he's known Brown since he was a kid and understands what he's trying to do, but he doesn't completely agree.

"I agree with the premise of taking the guns off the streets," he said. "But I don't agree with the method."

Brown said the nine guns collected would have been taken to Springfield to be tested in a lab. However, Hoglund took the guns and said they eventually will be destroyed.

About 25 people attended the event to show their support for Brown, who hopes to unseat Mayor Donald Peloquin.

Rev. Rod Reinhart, of St. Joseph & St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Blue Island, believes it's events like Brown's that help to keep the city safe.

"We're a city that has not had the same kind of terrible violence as Chicago, and that's because the citizens of Blue Island have taken a proactive stance to stop potential violence before it starts," he said.

Some believe the grass-roots event is just what the city needs.

"The reason why I support this gun turn-in program is because I'm aware of the gang violence in Blue Island, and any gun off the street is one gun that won't be used in crime. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our children," Blue Island resident Kathy Kuehner said.

Ron Smith, 40, of Blue Island, said he supports Brown.

"We hope ... you go buy groceries or something (with the money)," Smith said.

Peloquin said for the past six months the city has been working with other local towns, police departments and the sheriff's police to organize a regional gun turn-in event similar to Brown's.
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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2,444 Posts
These buy backs in the Chicago area are well known jokes. Many downstate gun clubs will pool together and bring unuseable guns up for cash. They will use the proceeds to fund shoots or firearm raffles. Anyway, who in their right mind will bring in a firearm worth hundreds (or thousands) of dollars instead of selling it. Yep - no one!
 

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Angry Citizen
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A fool and his money are soon parted...
 

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Registered
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So, I take it that gun buy back programs are still good, except now the city government need to get their paws on a peice of the action in the form of a business license?
 

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Pro Gun Advocate
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I still think I need to visit one of these areas.

Where I live, there are no guns on the streets, and I look real hard.
 

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Angry Citizen
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Maybe we should go to Chicago and look, Bill.
 

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Harley Dude
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I suppose there are "Mom's" that will pick up the guns that their gang member sons have Hidden in their rooms and take them off to one of these events. That is the only possible advantage to one of these deals.

A conduit for parents to grab known gang member guns in the household and take them in for money. Don't really know I am just guessing.
 

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Pro Gun Advocate
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The whole idea of a gang-banger or drug dealers turning in their guns for $100 is laughable.
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Some of the gang bangers may turn one in. But only because they know they can probaly go buy two more with that hundred bucks.
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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Some of the gang bangers may turn one in. But only because they know they can probaly go buy two more with that hundred bucks.
First, they mug the people bringing in the guns and then they turn them in........ it is the great American "Gang" way of life. :yikes1:
 

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Don't Tread on Me
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This is indeed an amusing story, really made my day. The unfortunate thing is this guy will probably go back and get his junk in legal order and start over.....

Though it would be fun as one suggested to gather up some non-functioning garbage and turn it in for cash.

I would be willing to bet that you could buy some of those crappy chinese knock-off airsoft guns at the flea market for <5 bucks, spray paint them black, and the folks there would never know the difference.
 

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Banned
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921 Posts
I for one have no problem with gun turn in programs. Does it do anything? Most likely not.
But it's like that thing where parents let the police search their kids rooms, if they ask.

It's just when they start making these things mandatory is when I'll worry
 

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Drunk Supernova
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6,002 Posts
I for one have no problem with gun turn in programs. Does it do anything? Most likely not.
But it's like that thing where parents let the police search their kids rooms, if they ask.

It's just when they start making these things mandatory is when I'll worry
For me it does bother me. Because I would rather see that money go into a program that has proven itself to work.
 
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