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
Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Yesterday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 206, into law.

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing it called, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” If you are wondering what that could ...

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud ...

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tomorrow, the Texas House is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1177, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), which protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License To ...

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges are two liberal arts institutions for women in the western part of Massachusetts. Both share a campus police department that until recently was overseen by Chief Daniel Hect, who took command ...

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Thanks to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their state Senators in opposition, Senate Bill 978 has been sent to the Oregon Senate Committee on Rules instead of directly to the Senate floor ...

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony ...

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.