What exactly is an illegal gun?

What exactly is an illegal gun?

In Wilmington last week, a group of folks put together a community effort to do a ďgun buyback.Ē The offer was $100 for handguns and $200 for long guns. They had $5,000 to spend; and apparently, it went quickly. Their goal was to get illegal guns off the street of Wilmington. This brings up my question: What exactly is an illegal gun? With no registry in North Carolina, the only thing I can think of is that an illegal gun is a gun in the possession of a person not legally permitted to have a gun, Right? So in reality, they are asking folks who have committed a crime (by owning a handgun illegally) to voluntarily turn over the gun for a few bucks. Sounds simple, right? But what about the guns turned in that were used in a crime? Do you not prosecute the person who surrendered it? This seems like a problem.

From what information I can gather, the police department worked alongside these folks. So what happens to the guns now? Are they destroyed, auctioned, sold? What about folks that turned in guns that werenít theirs? And if thatís the case, can the real owner get the gun back?

I think the idea is good, Iím just not sure about the end result. One of the articles stated that it was a good way for people to get rid of guns they donít want. Well, most gun shops will buy guns or offer consignment (a nominal fee is charged for selling the gun ó 10 to 15 percent is average) to a person wanting to get rid of a gun. I donít recommend people selling guns from their homes; itís much safer to use a gun shop where your privacy is kept intact and the laws are abided by. If you find a buyer but arenít clear on the laws, take the gun to an FFL and let the buyer pay a transfer fee ($25 to $45) to have the proper paperwork and background checks conducted.

Closer to home

I was alarmed this weekend when a young couple who lives close by came into our shop and reported that earlier that morning they were woken by a crashing sound; and by the time they sat up, two men were standing in their bedroom, staring at them.  It was one of the few times the man didnít have his handgun with him ó and I bet it will be his last. They were fortunate that the two men bolted, leaving them unharmed but badly shaken. This world is going to pieces all around us. Arenít we supposed to be safe in our homes, especially when fast asleep in our beds? Arenít bad guys supposed to stay in the dark alleys of cities?

Take care of yourselves and watch out for those around you. You are always your best asset and your first line of defense.  Knowledge is power ó use it.

Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.

Email queries and comments to Gun Gal at topsailgungal@aol.com.