Used guns are a good thing for people who want or need a firearm but have a limited budget. After all, you can often get a quality firearm for a very reasonable price. Plus, unlike cars, guns don’t tend to get a lot of wear and tear from one owner to the next.

Many used guns come from people selling unwanted firearms or trading in for something they want more. However, many other used guns come from law enforcement. Either they’re confiscated from criminals or they’re turned in by people who just don’t want them anymore. It’s a good way to supplement a department’s budget and provides guns for the economically disadvantaged.

In fact, some places require many of these guns to be sold back to the public.

A New Hampshire bill, however, wants to make it so departments can destroy firearms instead. In particular, those voluntarily turned in and that were never used in any crime.

Surrounding the measure, however, is a bit of confusion.

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering allowing state agencies to destroy weapons voluntarily surrendered by the public.

Rep. Renny Cushing told a House committee Tuesday he wants to repeal that law to prevent the sale of guns used in homicides.

But the law in question only pertains to voluntarily surrendered weapons.

So there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding.

Or is there?

Normally, I tend to try and assume good intentions on most people’s part. I’d normally assume Cushing just misunderstood what the bill dealt with or misunderstood current law.

But I just can’t do that anymore.

No, I suspect that Cushing knows damn good and well what the bill pertains to, he just wanted to misrepresent it so the public would think that’s what’s being discussed. While a gun is nothing more than a tool, few people are going to be comfortable with a murder weapon being sold and put back on the streets.

So, Cushing may well have misrepresented what the bill is in hopes of muddying the waters and garnering support for people who think they’re backing something completely different.

Yes, it’s a disgusting tactic, but do you really expect different in this day and age? I sure as hell don’t. This is how politics works and seeing a politician essentially lie about what a bill does and doesn’t do would hardly be new.

Of course, that might well be giving Cushing too much credit. After all, maybe he is stupid and doesn’t understand what he’s voting for. A friend of mine talked to one of his lawmakers about a tax hike the representative was backing only to find out the guy thought he was co-sponsoring a completely different bill, so it’s possible. Politicians aren’t necessarily intelligent (see also: Anything said this year by Joe Biden).

Regardless, though, I think it’s better to assume maliciousness in a case like this rather than stupidity. Stupid can be fixed, at least in theory. Maliciousness, not so much.

But the waters are muddied by Cushing’s comments, but who pays the price if he gets his way? Poor folks looking for affordable means of self-defense. The loss of those guns on the market will drive up the cost of others, making it harder for the poor to buy firearms.

It doesn’t really matter if he’s willfully misrepresenting the bill or just an idiot. If he gets his way, the effect on New Hampshire’s poor wold be the same.