CT News Junkie is reporting that Hartford area hospitals are conducting a gun buyback, offering $25 gift cards for rifles, and $75 gift cards for handguns. The reason they are giving such a pitiful amount is explained:
Similar programs in other cities initially offered money in exchange for guns but found people would often turn in junk guns and use the money to buy newer firearms or drugs, Campbell said. Hartford modeled its program after one used in the city of Worcester run by Dr. Michael Hirsh, Campbell said.
(click the title for more)
I would imagine that the majority of those firearms come from people who inherited them, and have no idea how to otherwise get rid of them. Frankly, if they are operational or collectible, you’re better off selling them at a gun store. Considering how few they exchanged last year, it’s pretty clear that most people have figured that out.
While the basic idea of reducing gun violence, especially against children is laudable, this will have absolutely no effect on the problem. The article even admits it:
Heavren said all the guns collected will have their serial numbers run to determine if they had previously been used in a crime, otherwise they will be destroyed. All of the 78 weapons collected last year were found to have been obtained legally and not connected to any crime, he said.
So, that massive collection of collected firearms was all legally owned, not connected to a crime…
There are a multitude of laws on the books in Connecticut regulating firearms. Here’s the relevant law regarding safe storage, direct from the State’s summary of gun laws on the web:
The law imposes criminal penalties on people who store loaded firearms on their premises if they know or reasonably should know that a minor (person under age 16) is likely to gain access to them without the minor’s parent’s or guardian’s permission (CGS § 29-37i). A person is not criminally liable if the firearm is locked up or in a location that a reasonable person considers to be secure, or carries it on his or her person or close enough so that he or she can readily retrieve it.
A person is criminally negligent if the violation of these provisions results in a minor using the firearm to injure or kill himself or someone else (CGS § 53a-217a). A violator is strictly liable for damages if a minor obtains the unlawfully stored firearm and causes the injury or death of anyone (CGS § 52-571g). The provisions do not apply if the minor obtains the firearm by unlawful entry.
Enforcement of current laws, as well as education are infinitely more effective ways to “protect the children” than grossly ineffective buy-backs, which make good press, but do little to curb the problem.
The other tragedy of these buy-backs is the loss of wonderful collector’s pieces. I’ve seen articles in the past where some wonderful pieces of history have been capriciously destroyed, all for total ignorance and misplaced ideals.