Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NM: Private Sales Prevented in Santa Fe

Santa Fee held its third gun turn in this year on the 9th of March. 232 guns were turned in. At previous turn in events, private individuals bought some of the guns. This approach offered advantages to everyone. It took the guns off the streets, placing them in responsible hands, rewarding their former owners with more money than the formal event offered, and stretched the turn in dollars so that more low-value guns could be traded for the event premiums.

At this third event, the police moved to prevent the private buyers from buying private firearms. It is hard to see why they would do this, unless the police were more concerned with political propaganda than getting guns off the streets. It may not be coincidence that this event resulted in more guns being turned in to police than previous events, which netted 194 and 224, respectively. From the ABQJournal:

On Siringo Road, police set up controls in the parking area in part to prevent people from buying guns from those who showed up to turn in their guns under the buyback program. Deputy Chief John Schaerfl said the new venue, at one of the city’s facilities maintenance buildings, is city-owned but not public property. Anyone trying to buy or sell a gun there would be in violation of city ordinance.”

New Mexico has a very strict Constitutional provision that prevents local governments from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.

From a discussion on the New Mexico events:

“the applicable language is found in Art II, Sec 6:

[...] No county or municipality shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms. The above has case-law holding that such extends to the sale of firearms for the simple/obvious reason that a regulation on sales is a regulation on the keeping -- if you're in NM & interested you can likely go to your county courthouse and examine the annotated State Constitution for the exact cases. “

At least one person who attempted to privately purchase collector arms at the event was quoted in the ABQJournal as saying:

“They essentially cut off gun collectors from being able to save these neat old guns,” said one Santa Fean who declined to give his name. “To see them get cut up makes me sick to my stomach.”

It remains to be seen if any action will be taken to rein in the Police Chief and the Santa Fe Police Department.

Premiums for the gun turn ins were in the form of prepaid visa cards and were relatively high: 100 dollars for operational rifles or shotguns, $150 for handguns and $200 for “assault weapons” or “high capacity” weapons. All weapons turned in were to be destroyed.

A turn in event in Maine used a more progressive approach, where turned in firearms were sold to a dealer, with the proceeds used to fund the special Olympics.

Link to ABQJournal

Link to discussion of NM Constitutional provision

Link to Maine Charity turn in

Link to article listing numerous events with private buyers

©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.


Dantes said...

"Guns on the street" is a prejudicial term devised by gun grabbers which translates to "guns in the hands of private citizens". It isn't like people are picking up guns and turning them in. Nor are the guns in a private citizens's hands a "gun in the street". This term should be abandoned by gun owners and ridiculed when used by gun grabbers.

Dean Weingarten said...

You have a good point. It can be turned on them by using it to their disadvantage.

Most people read "guns on the stree" and think it means criminals illegally carrying guns.

To the anti-freedom types it means private citizens owning guns.

So if you use it in the first context, as is done in the article, you perform a little verbal judo by using their own terminology to their disadvantage.