Sen. Ron Young had the good sense to withdraw a bill establishing a statewide “gun buyback” program, which the state police revealed would have devastating, unanticipated costs.

Perpetrators of violence weren’t about to turn in their guns, as the bill implied. The focus on hardware, rather than criminal actors, sidesteps the issue of how to deal with the root causes of crime. Government-sponsored gun buybacks have been shown to be futile and misleading. Consider the subtle way the sound bite “gun buyback” has crept into the common lexicon. It implies that somehow, government is the rightful owner of all guns, and that private ownership is but a temporary privilege.

It’s time to dispel the gun buyback myth and confront its implications. The government doesn’t buy guns back. Private citizens don’t buy guns from the government. It cannot buy them “back” because it never owned them in the first place.

Australia is touted as the model nation for its gun laws. Twenty years ago, it held a nationwide “gun buyback” that forced law-abiding gun owners to surrender guns. It encouraged compliance by paying owners for their guns, but the law-abiding citizens had no choice. They were paid for their guns from taxpayer funds. Police took their guns, offering a smile in exchange and a check from the taxpayers. As the law of unintended consequences would have it, tragically, several sites the government used to store the collected guns were burglarized, letting loose those guns into criminal hands. The government buyback led to criminals acquiring guns they otherwise would not have. Gun buybacks are compensated confiscation of private property to which government never had a rightful claim.

Chuck Regan

Ijamsville

(25) comments

collinsm65

This liberal will never, ever participate in that. Buyback would never compensate for actual cost in dollars or freedoms. This dem votes against politicians like this. Dems should realize there are a lot like me who own, hunt, etcetera...and do not appreciate the mantra they spew.

stjohn42

The writer is conflating two different things here. Clearly, there is no legal issue with a voluntary gun buyback program. It is essentially a free-market transaction and there is no way to call it a confiscation. Whether it is *effective* or not is a separate issue, and one to which the writer would be better served if he provided some backup to his unsupported assertion that they don't work. The Australian example cited *was* a confiscation, with reimbursement, but it is not the same thing. The government is entitled to confiscate property under certain circumstances, and it is usually obligated to reimburse the owner unless a crime has been committed. Again, whether or not this would be effective in the US is a separate issue. But the entire point the writer is trying to make is undermined by the fact that he is comparing apples to oranges in order to get a punchy headline.

secpol1970

Oh the writer is serious? Yeah good luck on that. One more reason why we have the Second Amendment.

shiftless88

People like the author tend to ignore where "illegal" guns come from in the first place. Likely either stolen from someone who just has one laying around (a prime candidate for a buy back) and people selling them via private sales without background checks (again, another prime candidate for a buy back). It is ironic that this author mentions Australia and tries to pretend it was a failure when in fact it was a huge success.

cleanrunoff

The tree of liberty must oft times be watered by the blood of patriots. Every person who dies via gun violence in the USA is a true hero, a patriot who laid down their life to ensure that others may continue to be free. Do not weep for these folks, hold them up as the heroes that they are.

seanjames

translation: "if hundreds of thousands of people have to die so i can keep my toys, so be it"

secpol1970

Translating fro seanjames "I'm too much of a coward to stand up for myself and need the police at my beck and call."

Lev928

So-called "gun buybacks" do not work. They never account for the stolen guns and homemade firearms used by violent criminals. The 2nd Amendment protects honest American citizens and their right to bear arms ... along with organized military and militia. You cannot tread on that fact. Unfortunately, we have never been closer to a second American Civil War than now. I don't want it. Any intelligent, trained gun owner doesn't want it. But it's happening.

Business Owner

Why did Senator Young submit a bill before completing a cost analysis?

mgoose806

Because you don't need to do analysis when your objective is to get free publicity. The Youngs spent most of their days strategizing on how to get a soundbite or their picture in the paper.

DickD

The guns should have been sent to a smelter and melted down!

Comment deleted.
wran

Australia has a much different society than the US. Lots of people own and enjoy shooting sports in Australia. The largest gun store in the world is in Australia, Adventure Outdoors. It stocks and sells more guns than any store in the world. On their website today Adventure Outdoors says they have 15,000 guns in stock

tmawdsley

Maryland

In an average year, 656 people die by guns.

With a rate of 10.9 deaths per 100,000 people, Maryland has the 35th highest rate of gun deaths in the US.

SOURCE: CDC, WISQARS FATAL INJURY REPORTS, FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE: 2013–2017. You can find more information about Maryland Firearm Deaths and Injuries at:https://everytownresearch.org/everystat

mattyb426

Baltimore is the biggest factor in that which are mostly all illegal weapons which are not affected by laws so theirs that!

shiftless88

And where do those illegal weapons come from?

MD1756

Does that include suicides? If so, what is the real death rate by murder by shooting a firearm?

tmawdsley

Gun buyback programs are rarely pursued in the United States because of cost and constitutional problems. We have way too many firearms for it to make a significant difference in the USA. However, Australia had success based on this data:

• Gun homicide rate dropped 42 percent in the seven years following the law and the gun suicide rate fell 58 percent. https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1264/2012/10/bulletins_australia_spring_2011.pdf

• For every 3,500 guns withdrawn per 100,000 people, the government was able to achieve a 74 percent drop in gun suicides. http://ftp.iza.org/dp4995.pdf

• Australia has not experienced another mass shooting. https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2675234/fatal-firearm-incidents-before-after-australia-s-1996-national-firearms

It may not be the American way, but it worked for them and we should be glad that their country saw gun deaths go down, especially death by gun suicide.

mattyb426

China is proof that suicide doesn't stop without firearms, the method just changes which adresses the real problem which is mental heath!

shiftless88

Suicides do not stop without firearms, but the success rate goes down and the overall rate decreases.

Comment deleted.
mattyb426

so, hopefully not an actual principal can call someone a moron and thats not hateful but I get removed for my comment? guess it fits the fnp agenda so it stays

Comment deleted.
mattyb426

Haha!! Where do those numbers come from?

Comment deleted.
tatt2ed

16,000 homicides in MD...? Check your numbers again. 2017 (latest available) uniform crime report from MD State Police only has 339 in MD.

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