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North Idaho resident proposes one-man gun buyback program

Stan Smith, a gun owner, said he is trying to do his part in what he calls a problem with assault rifles. The money will go toward charity.

LATAH COUNTY, Idaho — A Latah County man is taking a personal, albeit unconventional, approach to gun control. 

His proposal: bring him an assault rifle and he'll donate $500 to a charity of your choice.

"I don't have an issue with guns. I just have an issue with these guns," said 75-year-old Stan Smith of assault rifles from his rural home near Potlatch.

Smith first proposed his gun buyback program in a letter to the editor published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News last weekend. The retired teacher said he's become fed up with recent mass shootings in America.

"Anybody that follows the news, why wouldn't they be frustrated?" he said.

Under Smith's proposal, anyone willing to turnover their assault rifle to him would do so knowing that the gun will eventually be destroyed. After that, Smith will cut a $500 check to charity.

RELATED: New Zealand gun owners turn over their weapons for money

"So, I thought I'll offer the money and hopefully somebody will turn one in. Just one. I don't have an infinite bank," he said.

Smith recognized that his proposal would likely be seen as a hard sell in a rural part of the county, let alone North Idaho. But Smith said he feels confident that his fellow Idahoans will do what he believes is right. 

"People in Idaho are good people," he said.

Smith, a fourth generation Idahoan, is a gun owner himself. Still, he recognized that others have opinions that differed from his own when it comes to assault rifles.

"I don't mind that some people love the Second Amendment more than I love the First Amendment. That's what the First Amendment is all about. People should speak their mind without any fear of penalty," he said.

So far, Smith said he's received a handful of responses to his proposal, but is still waiting for a gun owner to take him up on the offer. Smith added that the $500 he's offering up to charity represents the price of a low-end assault rifle, based on his own research.

RELATED: Washington state ran out of vouchers in bump stock buyback program

If successful, Smith recognizes his buyback program would put only a small dent in what he calls a problem surrounding assault rifles. While Smith said handguns and other weapons were responsible for deaths in America as well, the former teacher emphasized that he wanted to "make a statement that we don't have to be powerless."

"It's just my own personal journey to do something that I could do, that I thought was right," he said. "And if everybody else doesn't sign up for that, that's great. That's why we can love America. We have freedom."

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RELATED: Monday marks last day of Washington bump stock buyback program

The following video is a report on the Washington State Patrol buying back over 1,000 bump stocks.

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