Hawaii to offer gun buyback to address violent crime

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The state of Hawaii has some factors that simply don’t exist in other states. For example, you can’t drive to it. No other actual state has that going for it, though several US territories do.


Yet is seems that the Aloha State has a gun problem.

They can’t pull a Chicago and blame Indiana for it, nor any other state, because you can’t just drive across state lines with a load of firearms. You generally have to either come in via ship or plane, both of which tend to control access for most people boarding.

So, since gun control hasn’t seemed to do much, officials there are turning to another well-disproven strategy.

Amid a rash of gun violence incidents, particularly in West Oahu, Hawaii is launching a gun buyback program.

The effort has the backing of Gov. Josh Green, the Hawaii Attorney General, and law enforcement agencies statewide.

The program will offer $200 gift cards for automatic firearms, semi-automatic rifles, and ghost guns. And it’ll offer $100 gift cards for handguns, rifles, shotguns, bump stocks, and Glock switches. Ammo will not be accepted. The state says no ID is required and no questions will be asked.

The program is also giving away free gun locks while supplies last.

Those bringing in guns for the buyback are asked to make sure the weapons are unloaded and placed inside a container or box in the trunk of your vehicle. Participants are asked to remains in their vehicles while officers remove the weapons from the trunk.

“What it really does, is it offers people who have firearms and don’t want it anymore or if they inherit firearms and don’t know what to do with them. It allows a safe way for it to be turned into law enforcement. And for Law enforcement to properly dispose of those firearms,” said Jordan Lowe, Department of Law Enforcement director.


I have to give Lowe credit for not trying to sell it as if this would actually keep guns out of the hands of bad guys because generally, it doesn’t.

We’ve seen numerous studies that have found that gun buybacks don’t actually do all that much.

So why is Hawaii having one?

The answer is that officials have to be seen doing something to deal with the issue. Hawaii has tons of gun control and they can’t effectively blame another state for their problems. So, they have to appear to be more proactive and buybacks accomplish that.

The idea many people have is that by the government buying and destroying these guns, they won’t end up in criminal hands. What they don’t get is that what’s being offered here is a drop in the bucket for what most guns are actually worth, so most who will take advantage of it are people who have busted, rusted, or otherwise junk guns.

A few will be quality pieces, but even those aren’t likely to end up in criminal hands.

Meanwhile, the bad guys will only drop a gun at one of these if they want to get it out of their hands in a way that won’t be traced back to them.


Hawaii isn’t doing anything about its crime problem. It’s just using misdirection so people think it is.

Kind of like gun control, really.

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