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Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:55 AM

Gun owners: is a TRUE federally sponsored gun buyback program feasible?

I'm asking DU gun owners what you think about this. I have law-abiding friends who are gun collectors, and in the light of new laws being passed in NY, making many of their firearms illegal, they fear the value of their gun collections will soon plummet. They have strong economic reasons to oppose new gun laws, because not only will they be unable to sell their valued collections in NY state, but also they'll soon be considered felons for possessing guns they've owned for years.

One of them told me that if the federal government offered a buy-back with prices closer to market value, he would immediately carry his firearms to the closest buyback site and turn them all in. He enjoys his guns, but he's also got his pocketbook to worry about, and he doesn't want to be out thousands of dollars. He doesn't like the new laws, but at least he won't be so vociferously opposed to them if he could at least get back his investment.

I realize we're talking about some very expensive guns here, and I don't know if the fed or state governments could find such funds in their budgets. But shouldn't there be some premium buyback price when a man walks in to exchange a nice new AR-15 as opposed to a rusty .22? Shouldn't we encourage assault weapon exchanges by paying more for those weapons?

I wonder how much it would temper the fierce opposition to gun laws if gun owners knew they'd at least get back the worth of their guns. Otherwise, these guns are just going to go underground. You can't expect a guy who has tens of thousands of dollars invested in his collection to willingly destroy them.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:08 AM

1. May work for aging gun owners.

 

I suspect non-compliance will be a bigger issue for you.

If you're going for fair market value, then an AR in any decent shape is going to net considerably more than a rusty old .22. Not sure if you want to place a premium on it simply because it is an AR, though.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:10 AM

2. The more you pay, the higher the compliance will be

You'll have to at least approach the black market price, which will be pretty high. We're talking several hundred billion dollars here, which I'm definitely for as as stimulus measure, if nothing else.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:13 AM

3. I'm less inclined to want legislation that caters to the collector.

Some of these arsenals amount to a great deal of wealth. I realize many thought of them as investments, but we don't need to be encouraging this country's predilection for protecting various investor classes at the expense of everyone else.

Investments go up, they go down. Diversification of their "portfolios" would protect them.

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Response to Robb (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:27 AM

7. +1, Something about funding a buyback program annoys me for similar

reasons. I think it's as you said, " ... this country's predilection for protecting various investor classes at the expense of everyone else." I've had some very serious sh** happen in my life through no fault of my own. I received no bailout nor did my company, thousands lost their jobs, houses just about everything, for example, during the dot-com bust.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:19 AM

4. I don't think so

It's obvious from the race to buy firearms that people want them. The prices of weapons are going up as a result of supply and demand, so it is even a good investment now.

You have to be realistic about it. People might sell back an old rifle they inherited from their father or grandfather, but the new pistol or rifle they just bought was what they wanted, and they are going to keep it.

The most dangerous guns are the ones the criminals have, and they sure have a lot of them! But those are tools of their trade, and they are the least likely to trade them in.

NY State laws allow the gun owners to sell the guns for a year, so how is that different?

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:22 AM

5. Mentioned on C-Span yesterday: Most "buy-back" guns turn out to be unfireable junk

Rusted up old single shot shotguns that are missing parts are the most common guns to show up at buy-backs according to a fellow who was on Washington Journal yesterday morning. That said no buy-back program that has ever existed has taken anything like a significant number of guns off the streets, even if you were willing to pay as much as the gun cost new.

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Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:24 AM

6. A lot of people forget that firearms need maintenance.

If you intend to store them for a long period you need to heavily oil them to protect from humidity.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:34 AM

8. What #s 4 & 5 said. Gun "buy-backs" are media theater.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:48 AM

9. If the price offered is high enough it will eliminate a lot of guns

 

Whether or not this will accomplish what you want is another issue.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:21 PM

10. If its mandatory, the government has to pay fair market value from before the law

That gets expensive and at times litigious like any condemnation procedure.

Gun buy backs get a lot of junk and fakes, just as the Chief of LAPD

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:09 PM

11. Fair market value = more guns turned in

I don't own guns, but from my POV as a property owner, if the government was going to condemn my land and take it from me, I would demand they pay me fair market value.

I see land condemnation as a parallel situation to those who own valuable guns. Prior to this NY law, the guns were considered legal possessions. By passing a law making these possessions illegal, NY state is essentially condemning said property. Paying them fair market value (for working guns, not for rusted junk) would silence a lot of furious gun owners.

But the government should only pay for working guns, with a sliding scale depending on the gun's real value.

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Response to mainer (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:34 PM

12. I fully agree with fair market value. The NY law is unclear to me. I thought I read there was a

grandfathering clause.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:38 PM

13. No grandfathering clause. That's what makes them steamed.

The law gives them one year to dispose of their guns -- but it would mean selling them to out-of-state buyers. And that sure as heck does complicate things, when you consider transporting weapons across state lines, etc. I suspect a lot of gun owners are going to just keep their weapons secretly because they can't bring themselves to destroy them.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:44 PM

14. Right now is a great time to sell on big websites like gunbroker


But I do agree in principle that NY state should pay market value if it is mandatory.

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Response to mainer (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:05 PM

15. No thanks.

I own a number of guns, I'm a collector as well as a hunter. In order for me to turn in any guns at a buyback program, they would have to be offering a premium (like 2X actual value) and even then it would be mostly an opportunity to weed out the junk. Some of the firearms I've received as gifts or that are family heirlooms or that have particular memories attached to them (first deer, etc.) would not be available at any price. The other reason that I'd be likely not to participate in a buyback program is that the kind of firearms that I have are not the ones that the elimination of would have any tangible impact on reducing violent crime, so I'd see it as a waste of public resources. Close to 50 firearms and only one that falls into the "scary black semi-auto" category.

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