In a lot of places, when the police take a gun used in a crime, the person they took it from isn't getting it back. If it was reported stolen, they try to return it to the lawful owner, but most of the time they just sell them to gun stores which then sell them to the public.
But in Kentucky, there's a bit of a battle going on there.
You see, they don't draw a distinction as to which crimes lead to guns being sold or destroyed. They all get sold, and that's becoming a bit of a problem.
Some people want guns used in murder to be destroyed.
In a show of bipartisan effort, two Louisville senators are looking to end the recycling of gun violence in Louisville through new legislation.
Sen. Karen Berg, D-Louisville, and Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, co-sponsored Senate Bill 178.
Filed Wednesday, it would require Kentucky State Police (KSP) to destroy any confiscated guns used in violent crimes, instead of auctioning them off, as required under current state law.
"There's no way they should be auctioned off to no one else; that doesn't make any sense," Nachand Trabue, a Louisville mother who lost her 23-year-old son, Makel Coleman, in July 2023 to gun violence, said. "We don't want this to recycle."
More specifically the bill said, " ... if the firearm was used in the commission of an offense that would classify a person as a violent offender under KRS 439.3401, then the firearm shall be destroyed."
So yeah, it goes beyond just murder, though some of the offenses in that section are just as troubling, if not more so, than homicide.
This bothers me, though, in part because most of these people are acting like the guns are cursed objects from a Dungeons & Dragons came, weapons so imbued with evil that they cannot be trusted into the hands of mortal men and women.
They're not. They're tools that were generally misused. They have no volition of their own. There's literally no reason why they should be destroyed when local law enforcement can sell them and supplement their budgets.
Now, there are some seemingly legitimate concerns out there.
After all, there are people who are obsessed with mass shootings. Would we want them to get their hands on the Louisville bank shooter's gun, for example?
Probably not, but I also don't know that it's much of a concern. They'd have to get the serial number of the gun, then shop around for years before they would have even the slightest chance at finding that particular rifle.
And even if they do, not everyone with such an obsession is interested in replicating it. I know a lot of people fascinating with serial killers and who are not, to the best of my knowledge, serial killers.
Anyway, I do hope that folks in Kentucky can get some sense and recognize what's going on here. Right now, it's about guns used in crimes like murder and some other pretty terrible acts, but over time it will be expanded until there's no guns being sold back to the public at all.
That means fewer low-cost guns for poorer law-abiding citizens and less money for law enforcement. It doesn't mean bad people won't still get guns, though, because every one of these guns was bought new at some point or another as it is. This doesn't make people safer, it just makes them feel better.
The law isn't meant to make people comfortable. It's meant to punish those who seek to make society less safe through their own actions harming others. This doesn't fall into that category by any stretch of the imagination.