Federal Gun Buyback System Proposed—While Such Programs Fail in NYC

photo from thewire.com

Last week, as U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) introduced a bill that would create a national gun buyback program, according to this story on breitbart.com , reports out of New York suggested that such programs are ineffective.

The federal bill is being called the Safe Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act and requests $360 million in funding to buy guns from the public.

Under the legislation, gun owners would "turn over their firearms to state and local governments as well as certain gun dealers" who would then turn the guns over to the Department of Justice for destruction, the story says. The gun owners would be paid "a premium of 25 percent more than the market value of their firearms," in the form of a debit card that can be used for anything "other than more guns and ammunition."

"Although no one piece of legislation will eliminate all gun violence, this bill will get guns off the streets and keep them out of the hands of people who wish to cause harm," Payne said "If we can get one gun off the street, if we can save one life, then we have to take action."

Meanwhile, in New York City, police are holding fewer and fewer gun buybacks each year, because they don't really do much if anything to prevent gun violence, officials say.

"It's always good to get guns off the street—I think getting any gun is good," said New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams in this story from the New York Daily News. "But I don't know if they're the most effective way to deal with gun violence."

The story says the NYPD held 11 events throughout the city in 2013, which netted a total of 693 guns. In 2014 there were eight events, bringing in 282 guns. In 2015, there were only two buybacks, resulting in 88 guns being bought by the city.

Between 2010 and 2013, 31 such events in New York brought in 4,635 guns. That may seem impressive, but Williams said a lot of the guns were inoperable or were bolt-action rifles or other older, large, cumbersome firearms not likely to be used in urban crimes.

Additionally, the story reports that out-of-state residents come into the city to take advantage of the $200 payday for non-working guns that are otherwise only good for maybe $80 of parts, or not even that.

Mandatory buybacks were a large part of the Australian wave of gun confiscation, though this legislation outlines only a federal voluntary buyback.