Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Louisiana Looks to Expand Controversial Gun "Buy Back" Program

While several states, including Indiana, Kansas, and Arizona have passed reforms to prevent the waste of valuable assets in gun "buy backs", Louisiana is looking to expand its program.    In these programs, the organizers offer incentives for people to turn in unwanted firearms, often inherited antiques whose owners are unaware of their value.  Scholars have concluded that the programs have little, if any effect on crime, while wasting police resources.

Although the term "buy back" has been popularized,  the firearms were never owned by the people purchasing them.  Critics say that the programs are thinly disguised political propaganda designed to convince people that guns should be turned in to the government and destroyed.

The programs attract private buyers who look to obtain valuable antiques at bargain prices.

At least one department, in Maine, has gone the obvious middle route, selling the guns that are turned in and donating the money to charity, thus removing the guns from unwanted hands, placing them into normal channels of legal commerce, and utilizing the valuable assets for a public good.

The most controversial part of the proposed law is that it retains the requirement that the valuable property obtained by the program be destroyed.   The only exceptions are for police use or recovered stolen items.  From the HB 272:
1 Such weapons shall either be destroyed or delivered to law enforcement agencies of
2 the city municipality or parish for departmental use. In no case shall s
uch weapon
3 be given to any individual, except that a stolen weapon shall be returned to its
4 rightful owner on proof of ownership.

The bill passed the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs on March 27th of this year.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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