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
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

News  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

Do you look back on your college years and remember the impassioned debates, when disagreements over the Periodic Table of Elements, theories of supply and demand, or the status of Pluto as a planet could ...

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

The New Mexico Legislature convenes for its 2017 Regular Session on Tuesday, January 17.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.