Pfleger Gun Turn-In Raises Legality and Safety Questions

So Snuffy Pfleger would rather George Zimmerman had his head repeatedlly smashed into the sidewalk until… what, exactly? [Michael Pfleger / Facebook photo]

“Great Gun Turn-in today….248 Handguns,,,,86 Rifles/shotguns……and 59 bbs and replicas….. a total of 393……,” Catholic priest Mike “Snuffy” Pfleger announced on his Facebook page, appropriately on April 1. “For those that say this don’t help…tell that to the Grandfather who turned in his grandsons gun or to the several Young Brothers who said they want to make a turn in their life and then talked our Employment folks to try and get a job…….Good Day…….”

I’ve been calling him “Snuffy” on The War on Guns blog ever since he was recorded urging a mob to “snuff out” a gun store owner after they “pull [him] out … like a rat”:

His involvement of St. Sabina Catholic Church in advocating for anti-gun legislation (and even involving himself in partisan politics) have earned him rebukes from the Church and even a suspension, but they’ve been afraid to replace him, fearing too many parishioners who place a collectivist “social justice” agenda over religion would follow him out the door. And so far, he’s managed to skate by without official scrutiny of his church’s tax exempt status.

Not that Snuffy’s “guns for gift cards” media stunt made a bit of difference over the weekend he held it:

Six people were killed and at least 17 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago between Friday evening and Monday morning.

And not like those who actually know about the efficacy of such things haven’t officially proclaimed their uselessness. From the National Institute of Justice’s “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies“:

 Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.

What such collection points can be used for are as places to “fence” stolen junk, and even to dispose of “crime guns,” especially with the guarantee of “No questions asked.” And that can mean legitimate owners may not get their property back, or in the case of a gun being evidence, even if it does somehow get recovered for investigation, the chain of custody has been broken with all the complications for admissible forensics that creates.

On top of that, such events encourage people who may not know the first thing about safe and lawful gun handling and transporting to do both. You have to wonder how many are conversant in Jeff Cooper’s rules, and if many even know how to check for a round in the chamber.

Another question is raised in a glowing piece of free publicity courtesy of CBS Chicago and WBBM Newsradio:

St. Sabina takes guns anytime, and receive drop offs several times a month.

Really? Do the authorities maintain a full-time presence there to lawfully receive them, or does Snuffy have an FFL?

With that”anytime” policy, I’m waiting for some gangbanger to get busted for illegal firearm possession, and make the claim that he was taking it to St. Sabina’s and didn’t understand there were any rules besides “No questions asked.”

You know, “to make a turn in [his] life and then talk [to their] Employment folks to try and get a job.”

Unfortunately, stopping the violence requires stopping destructive choices, not infringing on the rights of those not making such choices. [Michael Pfleger / Facebook photo]


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Categories: 2nd_amendment, All

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.