Gun buybacks: A(nother) colossal waste of government money

At first glance, buying guns so they don’t end up on the street and used in the commission of a crime seems like a noble cause. However, the problem with this exercise is that the firearms purchased are largely from low-crime cities, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study.

The NBER research states, “Our findings provide compelling evidence that U.S. GBPs have been ineffective at deterring gun crime, firearm-related homicides, or firearm-related suicides in the short- or long-run.”

Even more troubling, the same research also found a small increase in gun related crime after a gun buyback due to the perception that there will be less law-abiding citizens with firearms to defend themselves.

The data is clear that GBPs do not prevent or reduce firearm-related crime, homicides or suicides and may, in fact, increase crime temporarily. GBPs are a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars when unwanted firearms can be voluntarily surrendered at any time and at no cost to police. Furthermore, the firearms bought back through a GBP are not those typically used in crime and about 25 percent are not in working order.