If you’ve committed a crime, the last thing you really want is for the gun used in that crime to be found on your person or in your home. If the police find that, you’re pretty well sunk.
But dumping a gun in the river or a pond offers its own risks. If someone sees you tossing a gun-shaped object into a body of water, that’s pretty incriminating all on its own.
Luckily for the bad guys, the Austin, TX Police Department is willing to help them out.
Austin residents who have a gun they don’t want can surrender it to the Austin Police Department, no questions asked. The new gun surrender program started on Tuesday in an effort to make the city safer.
APD recently did a gun study and found that from 2017 to 2018 there was nearly a 25 percent increase in the number of stolen or lost guns. In reaction, APD organized the program so anyone who has an unwanted gun can come to their East Austin police substation and an officer will come out to your car and take guns and ammunition that you’ve put in a bag.
APD says the goal is to keep unwanted guns out of the hands of burglars. “We saw an increase in violent crime and we noticed a lot of the crime involved firearms, so in order to be part of the solution we decided to start this program,” said Lt. Gizette Gaslin.
It’s a free, no questions asked service where people can surrender firearms and ammunition.
The problem is, the “no questions asked” part.
If they want guns from law-abiding citizens who simply don’t want the guns anymore, then asking a few questions shouldn’t be much of a problem. Yet by taking a “no questions asked” policy, they’re all but inviting people to dump guns by taking them directly to the police.
Oh, I know the rationale. The idea is that by not asking questions, some criminals or their family members will also turn in their guns and have some kind of impact on crime.
The problem is, there’s zero evidence that turn-in programs like this have any impact on crime. That’s because criminals are stealing guns from a lot of people who actually want their guns. Why would I turn in my firearms if I actually want to keep them, right? That’s true of most gun owners in Texas, so just how will this reduce the flow of guns?
Instead, those looking to dump firearms used in crimes have a handy tool for doing just that, thanks to the very people who should be making these criminals’ lives more difficult.
Need to dump a gun but not raise suspicions? Just taking it to the police and let them take it off your hands. Then, when a prosecutor tries to link you to the murder or whatever other crime you may be facing, it’s just that much more difficult to make the case.
Oh, I’m not saying it would be impossible, mind you, but more difficult.
All on a program that has been shown historically to do absolutely nothing to reduce crime.
Way to go Austin.