Baltimore recently completed a gun buyback program where people could turn in their guns and ammo to the police and receive anywhere from $25 to $500. Over 1000 firearms were turned in during the first week, including a rocket launcher (the seller was paid $500). The goal of these programs is to get guns off the streets and hopefully reduce crime. A lot of experts and various studies seem to indicate that the programs don’t actually work in reducing crime and are a waste of money. As an anecdote to the Baltimore example, one woman who participated in the Baltimore gun buyback indicated that she was going to use the money to upgrade to a larger weapon.
Just because a government program is stupid, doesn’t negate the opportunity that it creates for the savvy citizen. If you can buy a gun cheap enough, like a gun in terrible condition that doesn’t work, you could turn around and sell it for a profit. But the easier route would probably be taking advantage of the ammunition aspect of the buyback program. If the government is buying those for $25, is is quite possible that you could find one on Amazon with free Prime shipping for under this amount. If you bought enough of them and the buyback terms did not severely limit the number you could sell, you could turn a quick and easy profit with almost zero effort.
Obviously you want to read the terms and conditions of the program, because you don’t want to be saddled with a bunch of ammo you have no use for. Also, just because the government is buying back something, doesn’t mean it is legal in that state to begin with. For instance, several states such as California and New York ban the sale or possession of high-capacity magazines. Even though it is usually not how these programs are set up, it seems like it would actually make more sense for a crime reduction standpoint for governments to only buy back guns and ammo that are illegal to begin with. Make 100% sure that you understand your local, state, and federal laws before you start buying guns and ammo.