The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in San Jose, CA held a gun surrender event last Friday. The event netted “nearly” 200 firearms – a meager amount of guns for such a large population center. mercurynews.com reports that one owner turned in 47 firearms. I can’t find any photographs of the confiscated firearms. We could speculate all day long about pre-war Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers, WWII trophy Lugers and WWI Webleys, classic Browning Auto-5 hunting shotguns and Remington pump .22 rifles. But the more important point is that . . .
Gun surrender events do not reduce crime or violence with guns. They exist because they’re useful as political propaganda, sending a message to the uniformed that “guns are bad and should be turned in to police.”
Gun surrender events are also expensive. According to kron4.com. the San Jose “buy back” paid $45k to anonymous gun owners. The cash came from the nonprofit FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and the sheriff’s office’s asset forfeiture fund. Money which could have gone to effective crime reduction efforts. Money which does not cover the “buy back’s” administrative costs (e.g., the officers’ salaries and/or overtime).
This picture shows some of the long guns turned in at a Phoenix event in Arizona. Arizona and several other states have passed laws requiring these valuable assets be sold instead of destroyed, as they are in California.
I have seen all sorts of important or, at the least, perfectly serviceable guns at “buy backs,” usually surrendered by ignorant widows who did not know the value of what they were disposing of, getting pennies on the dollar for valuable artifacts, in order to make political theater for people who would remove their right to keep and bear arms in the first place.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch