Bloomberg’s The Trace: Gun Buybacks Don’t Reduce “Gun Violence”

Police Trade Cash For Thousands of Guns Each Year. But Experts Say It Does Little to Stem Violence. Holy common sense Batman! Billionaire anti-ballistic bully boy Michael Bloombergs anti-gun agitprop propagators just re-published an article from July 15 that totally flew under our radar. And it rips gun buybacks a new one! Specifically, The Trace admits that . . .

There’s no evidence that gun buybacks actually curb gun violence. Though the events have become ubiquitous in the U.S. since the ’90s, they’re coupled with a number of academic studies that pointedly demonstrate the ways that buybacks fail to reduce crime. “[Studies show that] the guns you get back are nonfunctioning, that we’re paying money and we’re not getting real benefits,” Ralph Fascitelli, the president of Washington CeaseFire, a Seattle-based gun safety organization, tells The Trace. “They’re just feel-good things that don’t do much real good.”

Well I’ll be damned. The article doesn’t contain a quote from ONE supporter of “gun buybacks.” In fact, the article raises all the issues that TTAG’s been banging-on about for years – save the fact that the “no questions asked” events create a government-sponsored black market for stolen guns. Check this out:

The “no questions asked” policy shared by most buybacks can also make them vulnerable to what Tabarrok calls “gun entrepreneurs,” generally private sellers who use the events to profit off their local government. He cited a particularly notorious 2008 buyback in Oakland, California, where police bought handguns and assault rifles for $250 each. The event attracted local gun dealers, who bought cheap guns out-of-state and sold them back to the government for a profit. A 2006 Boston buyback also attracted out-of-state gun dealers looking to offload some of their old inventory. It became such an issue that when the city relaunched its buyback program in 2014, police began questioning donors to make sure they really were from Boston.

The closest The Trace gets to stating that “gun buybacks” serve any useful purpose whatsoever is this quote:

“Experienced police officers will have a sense that [gun buybacks] are likely to be of marginal value,” says Michael Scott, director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. “I think that’s safe to say that the primary function of a gun buyback program is to do something symbolic.”

Does this mean that gun control advocates will abandon “gun buybacks”? I doubt it. The events are beloved by politicians who want to be seen as “doing something” about “gun violence.” Even so, this is a welcome admission by an arm of America’s most prominent gun control advocacy group that “buybacks” are a waste of time and money.

To the point where I wonder if Trace scribe Kate Masters and her editors will get a call from Mr. Bloomberg, and whether this post will remain online. We shall see . . .


  1. avatar SteveInCO says:

    So now they can just go to advocating full confiscation, since this doesn’t work.

    1. avatar Fred says:

      They’ll always advocate confiscation. The whole idea of buyback (buying property back that was never yours to begin with?) is just a nicer term for the voluntary surrender of property.

      Problem remains that the people they can easily take weapons from are not the ones misusing those weapons. They advocates for these events still haven’t realized they’re disarming the wrong people.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Oh look, a yard sale.

    Also +1 to what Steve said.

  3. avatar GuyFromV says:

    That was just a million voices crying out in terror and suddenly silenced.

  4. avatar Defens says:

    Yep – what Steve said. Local controls don’t work since the guns come across city boundaries and/or state lines. “Buybacks” don’t work. People get around background checks.

    Best thing is to back off and just nuke the 2A from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure.

  5. avatar Don says:

    Breaking: VA AG Mark Herring unilaterally decrees and end to Concealed Carry Reciprocity with 25 states.

    Because of dual reciprocity agreements this also ends the recognition of VA CCW permits in several surrounding states.

    Mark Herring won AG notably after billionaire anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg dumped over 3 million dollars into saturation-level ad buys supporting him in the VA AG election.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Um, there’s a post already up about that one.

  6. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    Broken clock.

  7. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    This article is from July, just FYI.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I didn’t catch that. They republished it today. Text amended.

  8. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    Yes. Because symbolism stops gang-bangers from capping each other.

  9. avatar Geoff PR says:

    No, they’re just not doing volunteer ‘buybacks’ the right way.

    They should offer $500 for each pistol and $1500 for each long gun.

    Since Bloomie is worth 10 or so billion, his ‘investment’ in a gun free America will get more guns ‘off the streets’.

    I can cough up a few HiPoints, some Jennings, Lorcin, Phoenix, ect. for the cause, you know, being ‘down with the struggle’, so to speak…

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I have a couple of *nominally* functional guns I could turn in. They DO go bang when you pull the trigger, however in one case it’s seriously inaccurate and in the other, it’s liable to suffer an extraction failure.

      For prices like that I could buy two or three correctly functioning guns of that type.

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    “Studies show that] the guns you get back are nonfunctioning, that we’re paying money…”

    Hahaha. He must have gotten a peek at the ones I turned in.


  11. avatar Emfourty Gasmask says:

    Shame they dont do them in Arizona anymore. I got a nice lightly used Supernova for $200 at a local one.

  12. avatar Ebenezer Bowman says:

    Um, is that an AT-4? Who turned THAT in?

    I know its probably a spent tube but come on.

    1. avatar Random_Commenter says:

      Maybe it’s the trainer one that fires the 9mm tracer round.

  13. avatar MiniMe says:

    Them “gun buybacks” are a joke and *everybody* knows it. Libs just won’t admit it so they can keep wasting tax-payer money as a homage to their idol at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

  14. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    My local pawn guy saves up junk guns just for a Chicago foray into buy-back profitability. That’s what he told me when he wouldn’t give me more than $50 for a used Hi-point. Yeah I wish I could save up(I sold it in Gary,Ind.for $75-made money) LOL.

  15. avatar JW says:

    Nooooooo! They can’t stop now! I still have some crappy guns to unload… er.. sell, I mean.

  16. avatar Roy says:

    Where gun buybacks are a success is when somebody fell into a firearm they never owned or wanted. Such as a relative left it there when they moved away. Apparently it happens, and it kind of creates a dangerous situation where the new owner has no clue how the gun operates and might not even know basic gun safety. A valid alternative to gun buybacks for municipalities would be to hold FFL Auction style buybacks. Let several FFLs bid on guns that citizens bring and don’t want. That way there’s no cost to the taxpayer and it gets unwanted guns off the streets. When the FFL later resells the guns, the new buyer has to pass one of the gun grabbers beloved background checks so all is good and well in the gunverse.

    Do something to offer amnesty if the gun is stolen but don’t give the person who turned it in any money for it.

  17. avatar JSJ says:

    “They’re just feel-good things that don’t do much real good.”

    What have the grabbers ever proposed that does NOT fall into that category?

  18. avatar Cameron B says:

    what was in the pelican case?

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