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View Full Version : Gun Buyback backfires


wksun88
10-05-2009, 1:50 PM
Sorry if this article is a bit old or has been posted before, but I rarely see this kind of truthtelling in the media.

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2128

On Feb. 9, Oakland police, led by state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, offered to buy handguns and assault weapons for $250 each, “no questions asked, no ID required.” The “One Less Gun” buyback program attracted so many eager sellers that the money quickly ran out. But instead of closing up shop, the police handed out IOUs good for a future buyback. The Oakland police are now stuck with a bill for $170,000.

The buyback has been criticized as a poorly organized fiasco, but even the critics say it was “the right idea” and “a step in the right direction.”

On the contrary, the buyback was a bad idea from the beginning. Gun buybacks have been tried before, in cities from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and they simply don’t work.

In an authoritative study, the National Academy of Sciences reported that “the theory underlying gun buyback programs is badly flawed and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.”

It doesn’t take much insight to understand why gun buybacks don’t work. Gun buybacks attract low-quality guns from people who aren’t likely to use them to commit crimes. The Oakland police, for example, bought a dozen guns from seniors living in an assisted-living facility. Are you relieved to know that Perata disarmed these dangerous senior citizens?

The Oakland buyback was especially absurd because of the high price offered: $250. Why didn’t anyone running the program think to look at the price of a new gun? In fact, the first two people in line at one of the three buyback locations were gun dealers with 60 firearms packed in the trunk of their cars.

One wonders why the police even bothered to buy the guns from Oakland residents. Why not buy directly from gun manufacturers?

Of course, buying guns from manufacturers is so obviously an absurd way to reduce the supply of guns that it has never been proposed.

Nevertheless, the idea is no less absurd when Oakland residents serve as the middlemen between the manufacturers and the police.

Buying a few thousand guns in Oakland is not going to make it more difficult for criminals in Oakland to get a gun.

There are 150 million to 200 million guns in the United States, so there are plenty of low-quality guns to be sold. An Oakland gun buyback is like trying to drain the Pacific—every bucket of water you take out is instantly replaced. Even large gun buyback programs are unlikely to have significant effects. Australia spent half a billion dollars buying guns, with no significant effect on homicide by firearms.

Imagine that instead of guns, the Oakland police decided, for whatever strange reason, to buy back sneakers. The idea of a gun buyback is to reduce the supply of guns in Oakland. Do you think that a sneaker buyback program would reduce the number of people wearing sneakers in Oakland? Of course not.

All that would happen is that people would reach into the back of their closet and sell the police a bunch of old, tired, stinky sneakers.

Gun buybacks won’t reduce the number of guns in Oakland. In fact, buybacks may increase the number of guns in Oakland.

Imagine that gun dealers offered a guarantee with every gun: Whenever this gun gets old and wears down, the dealer will buy back the gun for $250.

The dealers’ guarantee makes guns more valuable, so people will buy more guns.

But the story is exactly the same when it’s the police offering the guarantee. If buyers know that they can sell their old guns in a buyback, they are more likely to buy new guns. Thus the more common gun buybacks are held, the more likely they are to misfire.

Recognizing that gun buybacks don’t work is neither pro- nor anti-gun. We all want to reduce gun crime in Oakland. Yet the Oakland police and concerned private citizens have spent $250,000 on a policy that doesn’t work and that everyone who has studied the issue knows does not work.

The guns bought in this buyback are destined to be melted down to create a monument.

It’s a shame that this monument will be the only lasting effect of the buyback.

lazyworm
10-05-2009, 2:04 PM
Good article, but logic and reasoning is so over rated. All it needs is to
feel good and it'll happen again.

I'm curious though if that money is coming from OPD's budget.
If yes, somebody might learn a lesson.

Gio
10-05-2009, 2:05 PM
That was an interesting read, makes a bit of sense. Wow $170K and Gun Dealers selling POS firearms for $250 a piece. Wow, I think it would be better to spend that money on Education and trying to get those in Oakland to stop the Violence instead of taking away useless POS firearms that would probably not even be used for a Crime ;)

-Gio

Scratch705
10-05-2009, 2:34 PM
damn $250 for a gun?

i would have ran down to the pawn shop 10 days before this happened and bought as many sub $200 long guns as possible. heck, clean out the local Big5 of their mosin nagants.... haha

tiki
10-05-2009, 2:45 PM
In fact, the first two people in line at one of the three buyback locations were gun dealers with 60 firearms packed in the trunk of their cars.

Priceless.

VW*Mike
10-05-2009, 3:56 PM
If I were a criminal, this would mean I would start stealing guns. With all the buy backs, they will be worth $250 no questions asked. Thats more then I could get for it on the street. All I would have to do is stash them. Thats easy. I think the cops just started up a new business for thieves, after all, they likely didn't acquire them legally anyway. Nothing I own I would give up for that.

Mitch
10-05-2009, 4:01 PM
i would have ran down to the pawn shop 10 days before this happened and bought as many sub $200 long guns as possible. heck, clean out the local Big5 of their mosin nagants.... haha

I don't care how much money is in it, I am not interested in seeing Mosin-Nagants melted down.

Super Spy
10-05-2009, 4:06 PM
I wonder if any crooks went and robbed more people the night before so they'd have more guns to sell......probably keeping the choicest ones for themselves....

bwiese
10-05-2009, 4:06 PM
I don't care how much money is in it, I am not interested in seeing Mosin-Nagants melted down.

True, unless they're real rustbuckets. Some of the Century crap I've seen at Big 5 is questionable IMHO.

But certainly crap RG revolvers and rusted 25ACP pocket guns could be a profit center - one FFL I know made a coupla grand off Oaktown giving 'em junk. He then came back to the Calguns ShootNQ and chowed down with a big smile on his face.

One wonders the turn-in value of home-built AK recevers ;)

HotRails
10-05-2009, 4:07 PM
I really don't like the fact of no questions asked. In otherwords, my tax dollars are serving to fence stolen goods/ murder weapons. An idiotic idea.

VW*Mike
10-05-2009, 5:01 PM
True, unless they're real rustbuckets. Some of the Century crap I've seen at Big 5 is questionable IMHO.

But certainly crap RG revolvers and rusted 25ACP pocket guns could be a profit center - one FFL I know made a coupla grand off Oaktown giving 'em junk. He then came back to the Calguns ShootNQ and chowed down with a big smile on his face.

One wonders the turn-in value of home-built AK recevers ;)

Are you suggesting sir that we all pitch in to help bankrupt these programs with $10 bent up receivers? So If I bought a bunch of cheap *** blanks, bent them up, numbered them "VW*Mike Arms XXXXXX" with my Harbor Freight engraver, they are now legal guns, no questions asked means no registration, I could make $240 each? Thats a helluva profit margin! I love how the law can work BOTH ways!!!! :43: I could invest say $1000 in this scheme, I could profit $24,000 give or take! Anyone else up to testing this? LOL HAHAHA we could drive them into the ground for very little money. It would be a giant fund raiser for CalGuns, with state and local governments own money. EPIC FAIL!!!!!

grnt
10-05-2009, 7:17 PM
Just look at gun buybacks as a rebate on a new gun. If they give you 275 cash for a rust bucket you bought for $50.00, go out and buy a new gun. Consider it an upgrade. would you rather have your tax dollars on this or some worthless stimulus program that funds all the cronies.

cbn620
10-05-2009, 7:28 PM
There are people like me who have junk guns worth 50 dollars or less and nothing to do with them, for that this is a great deal. What other could I do with them? Some of them still fire but they're very unsafe to. You can't exactly just drop these things in a dumpster like you would with a head of lettuce that's gone bad.

Hell, give me 250 dollars for a worthless, dangerous gun and I'll just buy a quality, safe one with the money you gave me. So it's a far cry from disarmament.

forgiven
10-05-2009, 7:47 PM
I really don't like the fact of no questions asked. In otherwords, my tax dollars are serving to fence stolen goods/ murder weapons. An idiotic idea.

I totally agree. I was a victim of a crime a long time ago and had some guns stolen. They were in a safe but a friend who had access stole them. I've often wondered if they ended up in one of those BS buyback programs. They were worth a whole lot more than $250 a piece.

Lateralus
10-05-2009, 7:52 PM
Would they pay 250 for a stripped lower?

Or an NDS-3?

I think they would have to.

RudyN
10-05-2009, 8:49 PM
I wish the San Jose Police had a gun buy back. I have a old .22 revolverin pieces and would love to get $250 for it, then I can buy a OLL and lower parts kit.

6172crew
10-05-2009, 9:32 PM
True, unless they're real rustbuckets. Some of the Century crap I've seen at Big 5 is questionable IMHO.

But certainly crap RG revolvers and rusted 25ACP pocket guns could be a profit center - one FFL I know made a coupla grand off Oaktown giving 'em junk. He then came back to the Calguns ShootNQ and chowed down with a big smile on his face.

One wonders the turn-in value of home-built AK recevers ;)

I have 3 rusty old wheel guns that are worth less than $750. I wish I would have known.

cbn620
10-05-2009, 10:37 PM
I totally agree. I was a victim of a crime a long time ago and had some guns stolen. They were in a safe but a friend who had access stole them. I've often wondered if they ended up in one of those BS buyback programs. They were worth a whole lot more than $250 a piece.

I don't think the "no questions asked" thing means they're just going to toss the guns into an incinerator and forget about it. I'm sure they will run any serial number they come across in these programs, if only to ensure it's not stolen. Plus, I'm sure though they do not ask questions of the person who brings the firearm in, they do at least consider using it as evidence in the prosecution of a crime when at all possible, if they can be sure the gun was used in one.

CSACANNONEER
10-05-2009, 10:41 PM
I really don't like the fact of no questions asked. In otherwords, my tax dollars are serving to fence stolen goods/ murder weapons. An idiotic idea.

Yea, but since your rifle doesn't have a SN, if it gets stolen, you won't get it back anyways.

Maltese Falcon
10-05-2009, 10:58 PM
....I understand (LA County) they have "fixed" some of these problems by giving gift cards for groceries or whatever instead of cash. Second the they have lowered the amount reimbursed to about $100. Third the firearm has to be or appear to be operational.

SKSer
10-05-2009, 11:11 PM
I was looking in the paper about the L.A. county buyback and it showed truckloads of these guns being dropped off at a re-bar manufacturing plant, to make re-bar for new construction ("to make a positive out of a negative"). What I would love to know is, how many employees of that re-bar plant got the score of their lifetime. I can imagine them charging people $100 each after hours to go dig through the piles and pick out what they want.

demnogis
10-06-2009, 8:41 AM
I would find it horribly ironic if some well-armed criminals stormed a gun-buyback location and robbed the police of all the guns that have been turned in.

And took the IOUs.

cineski
10-06-2009, 9:10 AM
"Of course, buying guns from manufacturers is so obviously an absurd way to reduce the supply of guns that it has never been proposed."

This author is quite anti-gun. He's just pissed the current structure of gun buy backs aren't truly doing anything to get guns off the streets. He'd rather use the supply and demand game to make it impossible to buy guns.

skscj
10-06-2009, 4:12 PM
250 bucks. WOW, I have a couple old handguns that i paid less than 200 for both. I can get 500 bucks and go out and buy a new Saiga-12. That sounds like some Obama thinking. Right on.

5hundo
10-06-2009, 4:15 PM
Anyone on here want to help me draft a Fraud, Waste and Abuse complaint? It might put an end to these...

...on the other hand, the only people who turn in guns to these things are turning in POS weapons that aren't worth what they're giving in return. However, if you are a gun dealer, and you have a bunch of common Nagants, you might as well. It's $150 more than you'll ever hope to get for it at a store. Plus, it's a good way to hose the city. That way, they have less money to mess with us in the future...

dantodd
10-06-2009, 5:07 PM
I wish the San Jose Police had a gun buy back. I have a old .22 revolverin pieces and would love to get $250 for it, then I can buy a OLL and lower parts kit.

Now see, that's an awesome idea. A gun dealer ought to go to these events and give 10% off coupons to anyone who turns in a firearm. Obviously they just sold one of their guns so they are the perfect customer. Already a firearms owner, down one gun and flush with a little cash!

Jbox
10-06-2009, 5:21 PM
"Of course, buying guns from manufacturers is so obviously an absurd way to reduce the supply of guns that it has never been proposed."

This author is quite anti-gun. He's just pissed the current structure of gun buy backs aren't truly doing anything to get guns off the streets. He'd rather use the supply and demand game to make it impossible to buy guns.

I believe the author was being sarcastic...You know there is essentially an endless supply of guns so buying them back from people or buying them directly from the manufacturer would have the same affect on how many guns are in the city which is ZERO

professionalcoyotehunter
10-06-2009, 5:21 PM
I hated this idea since the get-go.