Pistol Purchase Permits

Review the following requirements for a Handgun Purchase Permit:
  • Purchase permits for handgun must be obtained in the jurisdiction that you reside.
  • You must present a drivers license with your current address on it and have a records check done for felony convictions or other prohibitors.
  • Forms must be filled out, signed by the purchaser and notarized.
  • The Chief of Police, or his representative, must then sign the form.
  • The Pistol Sales Permit is good for 30 actual days. After the pistol is purchased, the purchaser must return the Licensing Authority Copy to the Police Department within 10 days from the date of purchase.
For Ludington Residents, contact the Ludington Police Department at:
Ludington Police Department
408 S Harrison Street
Ludington, MI 49431
Phone: 231-843-3425

Starfish Buy Back Program

Mission Statement

The Starfish Buyback Program for assault style firearms has been initiated by community members in the Ludington area to help safeguard our local communities from experiencing the horrors of a mass shooting.  Like the legendary Starfish Story, this program is based on the belief that no matter how small or futile this action may appear, any effort to save lives matters. 

Starfish tale

A child throws a starfish from a beach into the ocean to save it from an ebbing tide. When a stranger says what she is doing won’t make any difference because there are so many of them stranded on the beach, she throws another into the water and says, “It made a difference to that one.”

History and Development of the Starfish Buyback Program

 When 19 children and 2 teachers were killed in a mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX on May 24, 2022, a group of horrified community members gathered to talk with each other about these tragedies that were happening repeatedly in our country. These community members felt something had to be done to prevent a mass shooting in our community. None of us wanted to think our local community could be at risk, but neither did virtually any of the communities, large or small, urban or rural, think it could happen in theirs. We agreed that we must take significant preventive action and a task force was formed to research and develop some way to stave off that tragedy from happening in our community. 

We learned that assault weapons are the exceptionally deadly firearms used most often in mass shootings. These firearms designed for military battle are capable of firing far more bullets, far faster than manual-action rifles used by hunters. Assault weapons fire rounds of ammunition at a much greater velocity for causing greater damage. There had been a federal ban on the sale or possession of assault weapon to civilians between 1994 and 2004. During that 10-year period the federal assault weapons ban was in effect, mass shooting fatalities were 70% less compared to the periods before and after the ban, but repeated efforts to reenact this Federal legislation have been unsuccessful. 

We also learned that a ban on assault weapons could not be legally enacted by a local community. However, a buyback program could be. A buyback program might seem feeble and insignificant but, like the lesson in the Starfish tale, it could also be an action that might help save lives. A buyback of assault weapons could be a way to prevent a mass shooting in our community. It is also possible that having buybacks of assault weapons could help to increase awareness of gun safety issues. A local buyback program for assault weapons might also embolden other communities to do likewise to prevent a mass shooting in theirs.

An impressive number of local residents attended a meeting of the Ludington City Council in June of 2022 to urge the Council to take action to prevent a mass shooting in our community. Their concern was pursued further at subsequent meetings of the Public Safety committee and the following September the City Council voted to become the fiduciary agent for the Starfish Buyback Program and authorized the Ludington Police Department to implement the buyback events.

It is important to note that a buyback program for assault weapons would not threaten anyone's right to have a gun for self-protection or hunting. Assault weapons are not used for those purposes. The AR-15 style firearms are weapons of war. They are for destroying targets, not for hunting. The Ludington Police Department will determine if a weapon is eligible for buyback based on the definition of assault weapons in the 1994 federal assault weapons ban. 


Buyback events will be scheduled in May and September of 2023 and 2024 and widely promoted to encourage voluntary participation. Anonymity of the persons turning in weapons is guaranteed. A $300 credit card for groceries will be given for each eligible weapon that is turned in for buyback. Gun locks will also be offered free of charge.

Task Force members of Starfish Buyback Program


  • Cindy Christiansen, Ludington
  • Deb DelZoppo, Ludington
  • Toni Dwan, Ludington
  • David Masten, Walhalla
  • Karen Reader, Custer
  • Brenda Reeber, Ludington 
  • Tandy Sturgeon, Ludington



Community Education/Promotion


  • A corps of speakers is prepared to present about the SBP to local organizations and is available to be scheduled for upcoming meetings or events upon request. Your request can be left on the Starfish Buyback Program Facebook page, and you will be contacted about arranging a speaker.
  • The Starfish Buyback Program retrieved three assault weapons from civilian possession as a result of its initial buyback event in May. However, during the second event on September 16 no additional assault weapons were received, even though it is assumed there must be still hundreds at least in this local area eligible for buyback. To be more effective in retrieving these weapons from civilians, the SBP task force has decided to continue to offer the $300 supercenter gift card for each eligible weapon and/or ammunition magazine, but to do so at any time that one is brought into the Ludington Police Department, not just on specific scheduled dates. This SBP task force will also offer mentoring to other community groups who want to initiate a program in their own area.



Donations - information about how to donate to support the work of the SBP can be found on the FaceBook Page for the Starfish Buyback Program