In Wabash Valley, gun raffles are more common than buybacks

In Wabash Valley, gun raffles are more common than buybacks

Gun buyback programs are not popular in west central Indiana, while gun raffles aren’t at all uncommon. In fact, sheriffs in Vigo, Clay and Sullivan counties said they cannot recall any police departments or private organizations organizing a buyback program to collect unwanted firearms. Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden said he feels people can be taken advantage of on a buyback program, because some people may not know the value of the firearm they possess. A gun could be rare or a valuable antique, or it may be a faulty firearm. In either case, the seller would receive the same buyback price for the gun no matter its actual value. In rural Indiana, guns are more part of the culture, said Harden, who was elected sheriff after he retired from a 30-year career as a conservation officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “People are more comfortable with firearms in rural areas,” Harden said. Harden said he is a member of the National Rifle Association, and he is familiar with organizations raffling firearms as fundraisers. “To me, raffles are a donation to the organization,” Harden said. “You buy as many tickets as you want, and if you win the raffle, then you go to get it [the firearm] at the dealership handling the firearm for the organization raffling it. The dealers do the firearms paperwork, and the background check to see if you can legally pick it up.” Steve Ellis, who owns Top Guns in Terre Haute, said […]

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