In my contributions to the non-metro Atlanta news site, AllOnGeorgia, I have the unique opportunity to write about Second Amendment issues on a daily basis. Some days this is a good thing and other days, extremely disappointing to read what is happening around the country, mostly because of one disturbing trend that is publicized, but going almost completely unnoticed by Second Amendment supporters.
Gun buy back programs. These events, where local governments and/or police departments purchase firearms from citizens is surging right now and no one is batting an eye. Legal and illegal handguns and rifles are being collected with hardly any mention of where the taxpayer money is coming from, where the weapons are going, or what organization is pushing the initiative to remove so many weapons from the streets.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more recent buy back events:
- Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in California obtained over 200 weapons for $100 or less
- Tampa Police recently brought in over 500 firearms, though they did use donated funds to obtain the weapons and Orlando topped out at $50 gift cards for over 200 guns.
- Don’t forget Ocala and Jacksonville, Florida.
- Hartford, CT is using $25,000 in city funds as part of a $100,00 buy back initiative to get guns off the streets.
- In Miami, FL, police offered bikes in exchange for turning in your weapon.
- Over 200 firearms collected in Santa Barbara.
- Boston collected over 400 guns after a 14 year old accidentally shot his 9 year-old brother and Cape Cod followed.
- $25-$75 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- Newark shelled out over $22,000 to residents who turned guns in at one event.
- Up to $100 in Niagara Falls, NY from the Attorney General if you have an “assault weapon.”
- Why anyone who jumped through the hoops of Chicago to get a gun would give it back is beyond me.
- And perhaps the most disturbing, in Cleveland, a toy gun buy back where police offered children gift cards and comic books to entice children to turn in toy guns.
- Augusta, College Park, and Atlanta have all jumped on the bandwagon in Georgia.
Interestingly enough, Mississippi doesn’t allow buy backs because of a law that stipulates taking money in exchange for firearms violates the firearm dealer/auctioneer provision. Does that mean that all the other states just bypass similar laws because it’s the police/government doing it?
As you can see, this isn’t concentrated in one particular area of one state or region of the country. It’s not limited to blue states. It’s happening everywhere. Of course, this is all voluntary. But why? If, for the first time in decades, more people support gun rights over control, why is this happening?
Study after study shows one of three (or all three) things:
- Buy backs don’t reduce crime.
- They don’t reduce the number of guns in a community by even a marginal number.
- The people likely to commit crimes aren’t hopping in line for a gift card or a comic book in exchange for their firearm.
Aside from wanting to know what kind of fool would turn in an expensive handgun, rifle or higher caliber weapon for a mere $50 or $100, why would anyone want to turn in your weapon even if they were being compensated for the value of the gun? Why not just sell it outright? Why turn it into the police or the very government that stands to threaten Second Amendment rights at any given time? Why…when it isn’t known where the weapons end up.
We all balk at initiatives in Congress for things like proposed legislation that would offer tax credits if you get rid of your firearms. Tell me why that sentiment isn’t shared in this instance.