Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

The False Hope Of Gun Turn-In Programs

Thursday, September 9, 1999

The District of Columbia, which has the highest homicide rate of any major U.S. city, locked up only two criminals for breaking federal gun laws last year. Yet D.C. officials still managed to receive glowing press reports for their latest crime fighting ploy: paying residents, with no questions asked, $100 for each gun turned in for destruction during two days in August.

Seeing the headlines, and without bothering to seek any appraisal of the actual effectiveness of turn-in programs, President Clinton rushed to announce a scheme to hand over 15 million taxpayer dollars to other mayors to run their own turn-ins. It was suggested that $50 be paid for each gun.

Prof. Gary Kleck of Florida State University is among several criminologists who have studied such efforts. He writes, "Support for turn-in programs among government officials yields real political benefits, in the form of favorable press coverage and positive feedback from gun control supporters. . . . Nevertheless, these programs have no demonstrable impact on crime." (Targeting Guns: Fireams and Their Control, Aldine de Gruyter, 1997)

Prof. Kleck and others have cited several shortcomings of gun turn-ins, among them:

** They can result in the disarming of future crime victims who could have used the guns defensively to prevent death, injury or property loss.

** As the Law Enforcement Alliance of America has stated, a "no-questions-asked" policy provides the criminal with a legal and foolproof way in which to dispose of any weapon that has been used in crime.

** The guns turned in usually belong to those people--women, senior citizens, etc.--least likely to commit crimes of violence.

** Many of the guns turned in are cheap handguns purchased for the express purpose of being turned in for profit.

** Paying a "no-questions-asked" minimum "bounty" provides criminals with an incentive to steal guns.

** Low bounties encourage the surrender of cheaper, small-caliber handguns, which in turn encourages their replacement with larger-caliber, more powerful handguns.

** Only a tiny share of the gun stock is eliminated, usually not enough to keep pace with additions to the stock.

** Most people who turn in guns still retain other guns.

** Such programs frequently result in guns being destroyed, rather than being returned to those from whom they were stolen. Clearly, any stolen guns turned in must be returned to their lawful owners. The government shouldn't act as a fence for gun thieves.

George Mason University law professor Daniel D. Polsby noted: "It is implausible that these schemes will actually result in a less-dangerous population. Government programs to buy surplus cheese cause more cheese to be produced without affecting the availability of cheese to people who want to buy it. So it is with guns." ("The False Promise of Gun Control," March 1994, Atlantic Monthly)

IN THIS ARTICLE
Other
TRENDING NOW

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

Thursday, July 19, 2018

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to announce its endorsement of state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate Primary in Wisconsin.

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.