On July 30, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston hosted a gun buyback event at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Citizens were given gift cards for turning in their weapons. A citizen who turned in a non-operational weapon received $50; for a rifle or shotgun, $100; for a handgun, $150; and for a fully automatic rifle, $200 was given as a gift card.
On July 30, the exchange worked as intended, with two more buybacks in the works. However, not all weapons will be accepted at future buybacks; for example, 3D-printed weapons are referred to as “ghost guns.” The next time around, 3D-printed weapons will be excluded.
In exchange for gift cards, one unnamed person delivered 3D-printed weapons. He informed Fox 26 that he gave 62 3D-printed weapons in return for $50 per weapon. “The objective was not personal gain, but rather to send a message regarding the city’s expenditure of $1 million tax dollars on something that has no evidence of any impact on crime…”
The $1 million number referred to by the individual is the money that Turner had put aside from Houston’s $53 million federally funded “One Safe Houston” program for this gun buyback campaign.
However, the majority of 3D-printed weapons have been rejected.
Cody Wilson, the creator of Ghost Guns, brought approximately 25 3D-printed firearms to the buyback that he claimed satisfied the criteria for a “non-functioned firearm.” With the knowledge that completed frames are receivers under federal law, Wilson and other members of the Ghost Guns team manufactured and delivered such components in only a few hours for “minimal dollars in plastic.” Houston police rejected them.
Such gun buybacks, according to Mr. Wilson, who recalls the apocryphal tale of how the English Imperial Office attempted to get rid of cobras in India by putting a bounty on them. “And supposedly,” he continued, “people began to cultivate cobras as they started farming them.” When it comes to producing 3D-printed weapons for buybacks, he suggested that one method of “annoying liberal posturing” would be to develop cobras or, in this case, 3D-print guns.