New Jersey is set to pass a law requiring the Garden State to hold nine “gun buybacks” per year. We’re talking three “turn in your guns, no questions asked” events in North, Central and South Jersey. A quick look at S1154/A2374 reveals that the state expects to spend $2m a year on the program. Well, not exactly . . .
That’s $2m of lost revenue. They bills calls for a “gross income tax and corporation business tax credit program for donations to the existing Office of the Attorney General (OAG) gun buyback program.”
But if that doesn’t work out, taxpayers to the rescue!
In addition, the bill may alter by an indeterminate amount the OAG’s [Office of Legislative Services] annual gun buyback expenditures. Any impact will be the difference between program expenditures under the bill and current law.
The OLS, however, cannot determine the difference because of a lack of information on significant parameters of implementation under the two scenarios, such as the number of gun buyback events, cumulative gun buyback payments, and the availability of program funding.
It’s a blank check, basically. Good money after bad you say? And how!
The OAG has already been conducting gun buyback events periodically. In response to an FY 2015 OLS Discussion Point, the OAG reported that it had purchased nearly 16,000 firearms, including more than 7,300 handguns and nearly 1,900 illegal firearms, at ten gun buyback events held since December 2012.
The OAG noted further that, on average, it had paid $135 per firearm and that $2.27 million in OAG forfeiture funds and a $50,000 private donation financed the buybacks.
The average gun buyback event thus cost $232,000. According to a September 4, 2013 OAG press release, citizens could turn in up to three firearms “no questions asked” and receive a cash payment of up to $250 per weapon, depending on the type of gun and its condition.
So NJ has already spent $2.27m on gun “buybacks” and only raised $50k in private donations. And the impact on NJ’s firearms-related crime rate is . . .
Unknown. My guess: none. Actually, I bet the $250 payment created crime by establishing a safe and secure black market for stolen firearms.
In New Jersey — as it is in so many other places — the road to hell is paved with taxpayer dollars.