Indiana state senator Jim Tomes has introduced a bill in the legislature that prevents further waste in gun turn-in events, so called “buy backs”. The guns were never owned by the people purchasing them, so “buy back” is a loaded misnomer. The effort seems to be part of a trend in gun-friendly states. Kentucky appears to have been the first state to pass such reform legislation back in 1998. The Indiana bill seems loosely based on a similar Arizona reform passed last year. North Carolina is the latest in a number of states that have passed the money-saving measure . . .
“I don’t see why anyone would object to this because it benefits everyone involved,” Tomes said.
Currently, guns that are obtained by law enforcement officials are destroyed and used as scrap metal. If Senate Bill 229 becomes law, local officials could only destroy guns that have a serial number that is indecipherable. Those guns can then be taken back to labs for investigation and used as scrap metal.
Guns that are determined as being defective can only be sold to FFL members.
The guns that are still usable will be auctioned off and the money, minus the taxes, will be given back to the department that resold the guns. The departments can use the money to buy ammunition, vests, weapons or otherwise enhance public safety.
This bill is an improvement over the Arizona reform in that firearms that aren’t working can be salvaged for parts by being sold to FFL holders. Often the parts from older firearms are worth more after being pieced out than the firearm is worth as a unit. Some companies specialize in brokering deals for firearms between police departments and large gun dealers. Some states conduct auctions of guns collected, as do some individual departments.
The Indiana Senate Judiciary committee passed the bill by 6-2. The North Carolina bill passed by large margins: 98 to 16 in the House, and 48 to 1 in the Senate. It was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
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