Gun buybacks aim to remove deadly firearms from the street by offering people cold, hard cash. The programs work to keep guns from being used in crimes by taking them out of circulation entirely.
At least that’s what the municipalities and police who run them say. The reality is much different.
The only people flocking to turn in their weapons appear to be law-abiding citizens eager for some easy money, and taxpayers are footing the bill.
One woman discovered she could use a gun buyback to score big, turning in her 9mm pistol to buy something with a little more firepower.
In a tweet by local journalist Kathleen Cairns, the pro-gun woman displays the pistol inside of a box.
One woman shows us the 9MM she is turning in for the Baltimore City Gun Buy Back program. But she says she is using the cash to get a bigger weapon! Story on FOX45 at 4pm. pic.twitter.com/LlmCbezpU7
— Kathleen Cairns (@CairnsKcairns) December 17, 2018
Some smaller pistols sell at comparatively cheap prices, meaning this woman may end up actually making money.
As Fox 45 Baltimore reports, police offered $200 for semi-automatic weapons, including pistols.
Manufacturers like the infamous Hi-Point often sell brand new pistols for less than $200. At pawn shops and through private sales, the price for these can hover around the $100 mark. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to crunch these numbers.
Police are also offering $25 for any magazine with a capacity of over ten rounds. Considering many of these retail online for less than five dollars, a business-minded individual could really make a profit at buybacks.
In total, Baltimore law enforcement took in more than 500 guns at Monday’s buyback.
Programs like this often catch flak from gun rights advocates, who claim they only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens. The entire premise is certainly almost laughable. The thought of a criminal handing over their firearm is like asking a fisherman to surrender his pole; it’s against the very nature of their occupation.
This particular buyback reportedly cost the city $250,000 according to journalist Kathleen Cairns.
FIRST ON FOX: Balt City is spending a quarter of a million dollars on this week’s Gun Buy Back program. $250,000 from Miscellaneous General Expenses in the General Fund Budget. New details to follow on FOX45. pic.twitter.com/UKcS7cJfZN
— Kathleen Cairns (@CairnsKcairns) December 18, 2018
Despite the negligible effects on crime, buybacks continue to happen.
An official even hinted that it wasn’t about crime at all, but simply a desperate bid to remove and destroy what are likely legally-held firearms.
In a statement to Fox 45, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said “our point here is, there are guns on the streets of our city. We are signaling folks out there, we don’t care if its grandpa’s gun or your gun, we want it” (emphasis added).
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