Gun ‘Buybacks’ Don’t Reduce Crime, Says New Study

(Photo: ABC Action News)

GunsAmerica knows what you know.  Gun ‘buyback’ programs (GBP) are utterly useless.  But it appears that others are catching on as well.

A new, rather exhaustive, study of GBP from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “Using data from the National Incident Based Reporting System, we find no evidence that GBPs reduce gun crime.”

“Given our estimated null findings, with 95 percent confidence, we can rule out decreases in firearm-related crime of greater than 1.3 percent during the year following a buyback,” the authors of the study continued. “Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, we also find no evidence that GBPs reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”

We shared the study with Mark Oliva, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

“These so-called “gun buybacks” are gun control theater,” Oliva told GunsAmerica via email.  “They are a waste of taxpayer money and are a charade perpetuated by gun control politicians who want to appear as if they’re doing something, yet not actually tackling the difficult work of reducing crime.”

“These shams propel the narrative held by gun control groups that it is the firearm that’s the problem. This study shreds that lie. Empirical data shows this to be untrue. Crime is perpetrated by criminals,” he continued. 

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The real question is why, given what we know, given what common sense tells us, given what the data shows, politicians and bureaucrats continue to promote GBP?

“We’ve witnessed major metro areas that are plagued by crime continue to pour thousands upon thousands of dollars for gun “buyback” programs, only to see the predictable results. Those firearms that are turned in are old, rusted, and some are literally held together by duct tape,” explained Oliva.

“Those firearms are collected with a ‘no questions asked’ policy, meaning firearms that are turned into government authorities are never run through the ATF’s Firearm Tracing Center to verify those firearms were ever used in a crime. That’s valuable crime-fighting evidence that is being lost. The politicians putting on these events are the same ones who shout that every firearm must be traceable with serial numbers,” he added.

I found this old ABC Action News report from 2013 on the overall ineffectiveness of buybacks (see below). The worthlessness of GBP is old news yet they’re being held with regularity around the country. When is the insanity going to stop?

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ro May 18, 2021, 12:19 pm

    question….under what authority do cops buy back guns (do they get a waiver or are exempted from being a FFL licensees)

    …..what is there to stop a private citizen or group from having a buyback program (I can only think of a recent ATF ruling that if you have so many transactions (i.e. purchases/sales) it qualifies you a someone who must have an FFL)

  • Kane May 15, 2021, 11:05 am

    The only true “buy back” guns that I can think of are the ones the Obama/Biden administration sold to the Mexican cartels.

  • Michael J May 14, 2021, 1:47 pm

    Another leftist buzz phrase that doesn’t mean what it says.
    Here in CA those gun buy backs are hardly that. Now they’re getting picky about what qualifies as an acceptable turn in. The firearm must be able to function or the compensation is reduced, it shouldn’t matter if they’re going to be destroyed anyway or are they? Another thing, a gift card is used but if they run out tough luck. They ask if you would like to donate it,
    again to whom?
    Stop crime? Don’t think so.

  • Godfrey Daniel May 14, 2021, 1:26 pm

    It took a $$$tudy to figure that one out? Wonder how much that cost?

  • graceythecat May 14, 2021, 7:06 am

    Perhaps when the buybacks are happening they should investigate whether or not they are felons in possession of a firearm! All these criminals sell the crappy guns to raise cash for better guns!

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