All over the nation, police departments have helped supplement their budgets by selling off seized items. They’ve sold houses, cars, and yes, even firearms. These guns are often sold to pawn shops or gun dealers to be later sold to the public. In some cases, they’re auctioned directly to that public.
Since no one is buying these guns without going through a NICS check, there’s absolutely no harm in the firearms being sold to the public. However, anti-gunners have long decried the practice. After all, these firearms tend to be inexpensive, thus allowing law-abiding citizens from the lower-income brackets to have access to firearms for self-defense.
Now, though, those poor folks in Flint, MI are going to have to figure something else out.
The city of Flint, Mich. announced last week it would no longer auction off guns seized by police.
Mayor Sheldon Neeley said the decision was designed to make sure illegal guns stay off the street permanently and ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands again.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘How much is a life worth?’” Neeley said at a news conference on July 29. “From this day forward, we will destroy weapons we collect.”
“That revenue to me, is just not good revenue,” Neeley said. “It shows a gross lack of critical thinking when we say we want to fight crime and take weapons off the street to be in the chain of circulating weapons back into activity where bad guys may have a second chance of doing something wrong.”
I hate to break it to Neeley, but those guns aren’t being sold to bad guys. Bad guys are either stealing weapons or buying them off the black market from people who have. A small handful use straw purchases, which might include auctioned weapons, but likely don’t.
All she’s done is cost the city money.
In addition to the money not brought in via the auction, someone’s going to have to pay for the destruction of those firearms. It ain’t going to be the state police. No, that cost will fall on the City of Flint.
Meanwhile, criminals will still get their hands on firearms without too much of a problem. We’ve seen this time and time again. Neeley has accomplished nothing except to deprive law-abiding citizens of a potentially inexpensive source for firearms they could use to defend their persons and their homes.
Unfortunately, though, Neeley is just one of the millions who have bought into the idea that if guns are sold, they’ll somehow be sold to bad people. This despite the background checks performed on buyers.
Meanwhile, I suspect she thinks universal background checks will somehow stop the flow of guns to criminals. I doubt she recognizes this irony in all of this as well.
Look, criminals are going to get guns. Take a look at England. They’ve come up with some pretty creative ways to get guns despite the near-total gun ban in the country. If the UK can’t get rid of guns, we’re hosed here. It just makes more sense to arm law-abiding citizens and let the criminals beware.
Unfortunately, Neeley just made it that much more difficult for her citizens.