The Los Angeles Times is upset over what they’ve decided to call North Carolina’s new “save the gun” law:
You know those gun-buyback programs where police purchase weapons in order to destroy them? This week, a North Carolina law goes into effect that blocks police from destroying confiscated or unclaimed firearms.
In the polarized post-Sandy Hook political era — with some liberal states tightening gun laws while conservative legislatures have moved aggressively to loosen restrictions — North Carolina’s gun-destruction policy is among the most unusual policies to take effect.
The so-called “save the gun” law, at the urging of the National Rifle Assn., breezed through votes by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Legislature in the spring as the state moved to strengthen gun rights. In October, concealed-carry owners will also be allowed to take guns into bars and restaurants (as long as they don’t drink), or leave their guns in their vehicles while at schools and universities.
The new law (full text here) requires that law-enforcement agencies donate, keep or sell confiscated guns to licensed gun dealers, provided the weapons aren’t damaged or missing serial numbers. In such cases, guns may be destroyed.
The author, Matt Pearce, fails to say what precisely is wrong with putting these surrendered guns back on the legal gun market after they’ve been certified as being in working order, probably because their isn’t a logical argument against doing so. The recovered firearms that are mechanically unsafe (which tends to be many of them) will be destroyed, some with special historical value will be donated to museums, and the rest will be sold to local FFL dealers for resale. The money raised will go back into the department’s budget.
Amusingly, Pearce asserts that his hometown police, the LAPD, are somehow reducing crime because of the number of “weapons” they’d collected in a recent program.
That buyback netted 791 handguns, 527 rifles, 302 shotguns, 53 assault weapons and a rocket launcher. (The LAPD collected two more rocket launchers and 2,037 more firearms in December of that year, held shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.)
Most of the firearms turned in during the LAPD buybacks are non-functional junk; otherwise they’d be pawned. In general, the gift card value exceeds the scrap metal cost of the guns. Pearce also makes a big deal of the three “rocket launchers” collected by the LAPD in their buy-backs.
There were no functional rocket launchers recovered by these buy-backs. All three “rocket launchers” were discarded AT4 tubes. They are military scrap, no more lethal than PVC plumbing pipe and not infrequently found at flea markets as a novelty, along with complaint department grenades.
Gun buy-backs spend money to remove junk guns rarely used in crimes, from those with no interest in causing crimes, at great public expense. North Carolina’s law is a much much sane approach to the cash drain of such programs, where the occasional functional gun recovered among the discards can put money back into the local department’s coffers, and isn’t subjected to the whims of local judges.
Why is it that anti-gunner have such a problem when actual common sense is injected into “common sense” gun laws?