Hawaiian Lawmaker Prattles About 'Zombie Guns' but Should Be Prepared for Aftermath

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Gun buybacks don't work, but they sure are popular with the anti-gun crowd. Yet when you look at the mechanics of what's happening—giving money for guns that will be disposed of—they seem prohibitively expensive.


They're not, but mostly because the companies that dispose of the guns do so for free. Why? Because they dispose of the part of the firearm that the ATF defines as the gun, then they sell the other parts.

Yet that practice has come under attack, with lawmakers calling them "zombie guns," which is even more idiotic than "ghost gun."

One of the co-sponsors of a bill to ban these kinds of things spoke with the media about them recently.

Rep. Jill Tokuda (D-Hawaii) is taking aim at closing a legal loophole that allows gun disposal companies to make a profit selling recycled gun parts on the second market, creating untraceable weapons known as ‘zombie guns.’

The congresswoman recently co-sponsored the Destroy Zombie Guns Act with fellow Democrat Rep. Maxell Frost of Florida after learning that firearms seized by law enforcement agencies are sent to companies for disposal. But for the gun to be legally considered destroyed, only one piece, like the receiver or frame, needs to be crushed. The unintended consequence allows the remaining functional parts to be legally sold as part of a build-it-yourself kit—effectively making weapon identification impossible to detect.

Speaking with USA Today, Tokuda underscored the legislation’s importance for states like Hawaii, which face challenges in disposing of these weapons due to limited resources. She highlighted Hawaii’s distinct circumstances, including its geographic isolation, and stressed the need for dedicated funding to tackle the issue effectively.

“Hawaii has very strong gun laws, as many jurisdictions do. But we don’t always have the resources and the money to be able to properly, you know, destroy these particular weapons,” Tokuda said. “That’s why we’ve made clear that a third of the funds that we hope to get from that $15 million are set aside for small rural localities.”


What Tokuda really should spend some time doing is looking up the Law of Intended Consequences.

I'm going to assume that as a fan of gun control, she's also a fan of gun buybacks. If parts from those guns cannot be sold—and let's remember that even without homemade firearms, there are a lot of legitimate reasons someone might want to buy the remaining parts of a gun—then the costs for firearm disposal are going to be placed on those conducting buybacks in the first place.

All those non-profits who hand out grocery store gift cards in exchange for people's old firearms? That's likely to become a thing of the past because they can't afford to hand out $200 gift cards for guns and pay for disposal of what they take in. Sure, they might get grants to pay for some of that, but will it be enough?

Meanwhile, it's not really going to stop people from making guns. It just means they'll buy new parts rather than surplus ones, which are usually easier to find in the first place.

See, all this hysteria about "zombie guns" is just hysteria. It's not even really predicated on a real problem. It's just anti-gun lawmakers hating the fact that people don't have to walk up to the government, hat in hand, and say, "Mother, may I?" before getting or making a gun.


But like many anti-gunners, they're not thinking through the ramifications of their actions. It won't be the criminal who pays. For once, it won't necessarily be the law-abiding gun owner who pays, either. 

Instead, it'll be the do-gooder types who know nothing about guns but want to do a buyback because they think they're accomplishing something. 

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