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According to, “the violent crime rate [in Hartford, Connecticut] is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.” Last week, the city held a gun “buyback” . . .
The Insurance Capital of the World’s no-questions-asked civilian disarmament initiative yielded 26 guns.

Working firearms can be exchanged for Stop & Shop gift cards in varying denominations: $200 for assault rifles, $100 for pistols and revolvers; and $25 for shotguns or rifles.

One hundred dollars for the homemade derringer may have been a good deal for the seller. Twenty-five dollars for the classic Marlin 39A lever action .22, or the antique pump shotgun, is robbery, probably of an unsuspecting widow.

The photograph isn’t as clear as I would like. The shotgun may be a rare Winchester model 93. The Model 39A is considered a classic and highly valued sporting rifle. They bring several hundred dollars in used condition.

This is the same police department that collected the rare STG 44 WWII trophy bringback in 2012. It was valued at about $30,000.

In the middle row, on the right, you can see the homemade derringer. It could be a .22 or a .25.  The circular plate looks like a handmade swinging breech-block.

Perhaps a sharp-eyed reader can identify the antique revolver in the center of the image. The humpbacked grip and spur trigger are good clues; it reminds me of a Liberty pocket revolver, if they were made with a bird’s head grip. It’s almost certainly a .22.

The “assault rifle” or, more accurately, modern sporting rifle, is an interesting AK variant, with a dust cover mounted rear sight. It’s worth several hundred dollars.

To justify this program, The Courant offered a quote from David Shapiro, Vice Chairman of Surgery at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The challenge with gun buybacks is that there’s very little evidence that they reduce crimes. But, then again, there’s little evidence that any gun violence program does what it’s supposed to do,” Shapiro said.

“As public health providers, our job is to go to any avenue we can to reduce the risk of injury, and this is one that benefits everyone who’s involved.”

Mr. Shapiro seems entirely unconcerned about the Hartford gun “buyback’s” cost-benefit ratio. How much crime prevention does all that time and money buy? If you discount its propaganda value, the “gun buyback” was an enormous waste of police resources — which would be better spent addressing Hartford’s criminal gangs.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. The obvious problem with “buybacks” is that the only people who are going to turn something in are the folks who are least likely to use them in a crime.

    Criminals aren’t going to give up their tools. Do these idiots think that a “lock pick and safecracking tool buyback” would get a lot of tools off the streets from people who intended to use them for nefarious purposes? I’d respectfully submit that it will not because a guy who’s interesting in illegally gaining entry to places as his line of work isn’t going to give up his tools of the trade any more than an electrician is going to give up his nice $200+ Klein multimeter for $25.

  2. The “Assault rifle” appears to be a Galil. Even the poorly made “golani” century arms builds go for $800 on gunbroker. If it’s a real one, $2K plus could be considered. Sad.

    • Yeppers and based on the size of the mag well it’s in .308. Beautiful gun and your values seem in the park. Very sad to see that collectors piece go out of circulation.

      • Yeah, the .308 Galil was a $2-3k rifle but now that the Galil Ace is available in .308 it’d be a hard sell. Still $1500 anywhere, any day of the week.

      • The charging handle is up turned like a Galil or Golani.
        The stock is eastern bloc — that angular adapter between the stock and receiver is not present on Valmets. The pistol grip is not Valmet.
        Probably a Century Arms Golani or homemade Galil.

    • I’m gonna say this is actually a .22lr caliber “AK” design that was out there in the ’80s I’d say to look like a Galil or a Valmet. [ I think they were marketed both ways]
      The barrel is TOO thin to be a major caliber like .308, the ‘gas piston’ on top of the barrel is just a tube coming back from the front sight base.

  3. I don’t live in a State that does things like this (Montana), though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Missoula try it. I’ve heard of many of these where gun folks set up booths and make offers, so I wonder if it would make sense to set up your own legal “buyback.”

    In free States, shooting clubs and individuals could set up a purchasing station for unwanted guns and give people a reasonable rate for a quality gun, and in slave States maybe a gun store or collection thereof could set up a public event. Beat the cops to the punch, so to speak.

    Just an idea.

    • In free states, gun owners out bid the buy back fools and the whole thing blows up. There are very few in free states because of that.

    • Probably a Century Arms “Golani”.
      Semi-cheap semi-crappy knock-off of a Galil.
      The stock looks eastern bloc..

  4. Colorado legislators accidentally made buybacks illegal. We have “universal” background checks, here. So you can only turn in a gun to an FFL. No police agencies in the State are FFLs. Hence, no way to do a buyback.

  5. these buy back programs remind me of my college days where a dozen of my fraternity brothers would strand on the beech and pee into the lake to try & raise the water level.

    I agree, there’s plenty of folks who have guns stored in the attic, basement, garage, or just inherited, that they have no idea how to maintain, or what to do with them. Those folks SHOULD pass those guns on to others who will appreciate them.

    Why don’t LGS’s have regular buy back programs? At least the benefit ratio would be a lot better.

    When a local PD purchases guns for destruction, that costs the municipality cash. The private sector could handle these type of buy back programs, and donate a portion of the profit proceeds back to the local LEO’s.

    • I suggested a public private event like what you describe to my local chief. Have gun dealers set up tables in coordination with the cops, people get fair value and guns go to responsible people. He did not like the idea at all. this summer he’s holding a destruction gun “buyback” after meeting with a group of anti gun loons. He’s a dick. I emailed him last week ripping the idea, he didn’t appreciate that. I mentioned 5 times how they were going to rip off widows and the unknowing.

    • “a dozen of my fraternity brothers would strand on the beech and pee into the lake to try & raise the water level.”

      Into the wind, too, right?

  6. “The challenge with gun buybacks is that there’s very little evidence that they reduce crimes. But, then again, there’s little evidence that any gun violence program does what it’s supposed to do”

    This is the guy the quoted to justify the gun buyback? The fact that they couldn’t find somebody who actually believed in the concept is telling.

  7. Hartford: The racial makeup of the city was 29.8% white, 38.7% African American or black, 0.6% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 23.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. 43.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, chiefly of Puerto Rican origin.
    Whites not of Latino background were 15.8% of the population in 2010,down from 63.9% in 1970.

  8. Under no circumstances is it your job as a public health official to do anything whatsoever about the risk of injury.

  9. I can get 80% lowers for $35, mill them, and turn them in for $200? Even working slowly, that could double my salary…

  10. @Wellnoshit,

    Those race percentages only apply between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.

    At 5:15pm when the employees of the major insurance companies drive home to the suburbs, Hartford’s demographics are dramatically less pallid until 9am the next morning. Unless it’s a Friday, in which case its a 2-day vacation from caucasians.

  11. Of course their crime rate is high, it’s a liberal run state with incompetent liberal policies. Like Chicago, New York, LA, (and the rest of California). If it’s a liberal city or state, you are in danger if you live there and will not be allowed to defend yourself. In places like that, criminals are protected.


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