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Miami police have a gun buyback scheme where they send the weapons to Ukraine's army

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3 days ago mjankowicz@businessinsider.com (Mia Jankowicz)
(L) The "Guns 4 Ukraine" flyer, (R) and Commissioner Ken Russell (L) and Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales (R) on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Miami Police Department/Facebook/Insider © Miami Police Department/Facebook/Insider (L) The "Guns 4 Ukraine" flyer, (R) and Commissioner Ken Russell (L) and Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales (R) on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Miami Police Department/Facebook/Insider
  • Miami Police Department has a "Guns 4 Ukraine" buyback scheme meant to help arm Ukraine.
  • The police chief said not all guns collected were in good shape, but some would be sent on.
  • Getting weapons to Ukraine can only be done with a State Department license.

Miami Police department held a gun-buyback event on Saturday and promised to send all suitable weapons it gathered to Ukraine.

According to a flyer posted to a local governmental website, "Guns 4 Ukraine" offered gift vouchers to the value of $50-$150 depending on type of weapon.

Another sweetener was the possibility that they might reach the hands of Ukrainians fighting the Russian invasion nearly 6,000 miles away.

Police said after the event they gathered 68 firearms. "It looks like a few of them, after further examination and work on them, will be fit to send over to our friends over in Ukraine," said Chief Manuel Morales in a Facebook video about the event

Most of the firearms displayed at the event were handguns and wooden hunting rifles, a far cry from the modern weaponry sought by Ukraine's leaders.


Video: Miami holds gun buyback in support of Ukraine (Reuters)

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In May, Rep. Jason Crow — a member of the congressional delegation to Ukraine — told reporters that Zelenskyy was seeking sophisticated drones, artillery such as multiple-launch rocket systems, and anti-ship missiles, Politico reported

The Miami project took shape on June 10 with a proposed resolution from District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell, local news outlet Miami New Times reported

The resolution said that the weapons would be shipped with the help of the nonprofit Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA).

Shipping weaponry is only possible with a US State Department license, as The Washington Post reported. The US Commerce Department has been attempting to speed up requests from similar projects since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, as Reuters reported

Of a similar effort in Nassau County, New York, in early March, local executive Bruce Blakeman said: "There is a tremendous amount of red tape in trying to get this to Ukraine, so we're going to need the president's help," according to ABC7NY

That gun drive successfully shipped 860 weapons to Ukraine via an export license issued to a gun dealership in Florida, the outlet later reported.

Miami's version of the project is "primarily" to get guns off the street, Miami's District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell told the Miami New Times.  

Russell did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment and clarification about the shipping process. 

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