Gun buybacks are generally a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars. They give gift cards worth a fraction of a firearm’s worth, often asking no question and doing no searches on whether or not the guns were used in crimes, which has got to lead to dead ends on criminal investigations.
However, they’re even more pointless when practically no one goes.
Jim Sebright brought a .22-caliber Ruger pistol from his home in Springettsbury Township to the Goodwill Fire Company in York Friday night and turned it over to police.
“I have no use for it and I just wanted to get rid of it,” he said of the Ruger. Plus, he said, he has two grandchildren and figured turning in the gun was the best way to eliminate any chance they could access the pistol.
That handgun was one of 36 guns York City Police collected over a two-hour period Friday night.
A whopping 36 guns. Wow.
Dean Weingarten has seen some photos of the event, and those do not make the number more impressive by any stretch of the imagination.
There were at least a dozen long guns. I looked at privately owned pictures of the event that are protected by copywrite.
There were about 20 handguns, mostly old revolvers, turned in. At least one Colt revolver and a Smith & Wesson or two were included in the handguns turned in. Their value would have been about $400 to $600 each. A Ruger MKI .22 was turned in. They are worth about $250. One of the guns turned in was a starter pistol. I have been unable to identify any of the long guns, other than a single barreled shotgun and a .22 rifle. Some of the long guns appeared to have broken stocks.
A starter pistol?
Well, we can all sleep safer and more soundly knowing that one is off the streets.
Looking at the table for many buyback programs can be heartbreaking. Invariably, someone sees something that they adore that was turned in and now destined for the scrap pile. The Luger I saw one buyback program net nearly put me to tears knowing where that piece was headed.
However, most of us who have looked at these know that most of what gets turned in are junk guns that people don’t really know what to do with. Sure, they get guns off the streets, but they get guns that no one is using or would want in the first place–in some cases, even criminals–at a far greater rate.
And that doesn’t count the near scams that take place, like someone turning in a starter pistol.
Of course, that doesn’t top the LAPD touting their buyback program getting a rocket launcher, only to find out they’d been conned.
All these buybacks do is deplete the public coffers and occasionally offer criminals a way to dispose of weapons used in crimes. Rather than drop it in a river or lake, they might as well get a gift card out of the deal.
How anyone thinks these are good ideas is beyond me.