Church and gun enthusiasts compete for weapons


A Dallas church that had organized an event to buy guns back from residents found itself with some unexpected close competition – just across the street.

The First Presbyterian Church of Dallas had organized a gun buyback event downtown on Jan. 19, offering $50 for handguns and rifles and up to $200 for semiautomatic assault weapons.

The Dallas Morning News reported that concealed handgun license instructor Collin Baker organized a pro-gun event and marketplace across the street from the church’s event.

Baker said people who sold their guns at his event got more money for them, as people bid upward of $400 for some weapons.

“And it’s going back into a home that’s going to keep it safe,” Baker said.

The church’s buyback program took in more than 100 guns, while more than 20 were auctioned off at the competing event.

Baker’s pro-gun event was held on the same day that thousands of people around the country held peaceful rallies in state capitals nationwide against President Barack Obama’s federal gun-control proposals.

The Rev. Bruce Buchanan, an organizer of the church’s gun buyback, said the event was a way for his church to give back after feeling helpless following the Connecticut school shooting. The church has been holding such events for more than a decade.

“We see it as a reflection of our community ministry,” Buchanan said. “We’re providing an opportunity for people to make their homes safer.”

Gun enthusiasts and representatives from local security companies and the Dallas tea party attended Baker’s event.

“Come and Take It” and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags flew at Baker’s event as people held signs and yelled across the street to those waiting in line at the church’s event to not destroy the “pieces of history.”

Cody Chaddick had intended to sell his Jennings .380 pistol at the church’s buyback but was convinced to auction it off across the street.

“Figured I’d go ahead and put it back out there,” said the 22-year-old. “Maybe somebody else could get some use out of it.”

Liz Ryburn, 74, who sold her small handgun at the church’s gun buyback, called the competing event across the street “ridiculous.”