Gun Buybacks Are Waste of Time, No Evidence They Reduce Crime

When it comes to feel-good window dressing that politicians use to show that they’re “fighting crime,” it doesn’t get any more ridiculous than gun buybacks.

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I’ve written about this before but I saw something recently that so succinctly articulated my thoughts on the matter that I felt like I had to share it.

In a recent interview, SUNY Buffalo State associate professor Scott W. Phillips shattered the narrative that buybacks reduce crime.

“Does it work? No,” Phillips told The Buffalo News. The professor looked at city crime data in relation to five gun buybacks held between 2007 and 2012 and found no evidence — zero evidence — that they reduce crime.

“Should they keep doing it? I wouldn’t bother wasting their time,” he added.

When’s the last time you’ve heard an academic speak candidly about the foolishness of gun buybacks?

Probably never.

I found that refreshing. Q. Do they reduce crime Mr. Professor? A. No. Q. Should they keep doing it Mr. Professor? A. Shouldn’t waste their time.

Phillips went on to say that there is no academic research that indicates buybacks curb suicides or accidental shootings. And he confirmed what many of us already knew, the majority of the guns sold are rarely the types used in crimes, i.e. long guns, and many of them are broken.

Photos from a buyback in near Buffalo, NY. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo}

When an independent, third-party soundly refutes the merits of a scheme that, in some cases, wastes taxpayer dollars, you would think that the leaders of the city would pay attention. You think they would cut their losses and end the charade. Right? Wrong.

Niagara Falls Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto admitted that gang members won’t be turning up en masse to sell their piece to the po-po, yet he still hung on to the notion that they serve a purpose.

“We get folks that just want an outlet to get rid of unwanted firearms,” DalPorto said.

SEE ALSO: House Democrat Proposes National ‘Buyback’ Bill

What he really means to say is that folks want a way to get something for nothing, a way to get some money for their junk.

Now, in the cases where folks are actually turning in functioning firearms, I’m one thousand percent sure that there are plenty of local pawn shops and gun stores that would happily adopt those unwanted firearms.

Buybacks are stupid. When are elected officials going to realize this? I mean, the name itself should give it away. Why is it a buyback? Those guns never belonged to the government!

If you ask me, I think they use the term “buyback” because it perpetuates the falsity that the government allows us to keep and bear arms, which as we all know is claptrap.

The Second Amendment isn’t a gift from government. It’s an existing right of the people. The whole point of the Constitution is to keep the grubby hands of government off our basic freedoms and liberties, including the 2A.

With buybacks though, you get that sneaking suspicion that big brother is signaling to the public, You know, the only reason you have those guns is because we let you. They belong to us. You belong to us. Go ahead now, be a good boy and turn them over. We’ll give you a $20 gas card for your trouble.

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

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  • John Geibel October 2, 2017, 2:00 pm

    The buy back would work if it were the firearms committing the crimes because the less firearms the less crimes. But it is individuals who commit crimes and firearms are only one of their many tools and these individuals can always get the tools that they need.

    • Mr. Magic October 15, 2017, 10:05 pm

      Dude, look you see there is this thing called crime. There is also this thing called the black market (I’m pretty sure it exists). Both of these seem to go hand in hand, so therefore if the bad guy wants a gun he’s gonna get it whether or not you have laws that stop him.

    • Smith Corona 10-43 July 6, 2018, 10:10 am

      Like criminals are really going to sell back to the police their best guns ! Oh they will sell them broken or useless guns they acquired just to get the money which is common in urban area’s. The liberal epic failure number 9,999,999,999

  • Ron Stidham October 1, 2017, 6:53 pm

    I didn’t even read the article. This buy back is all bull, its called confiscation by any interpretation. Don’t fall prey to some buy back scheme. Period!!!

  • monk September 30, 2017, 12:30 pm


  • Jan September 29, 2017, 5:59 pm

    Buy backs are a serious joke. I work for a gunsmith in the 90s. We would assemble inop guns out of parts just for grocery vouchers. Things like a 44 frame with a 357 cylinder and bulged barrels on cracked stocks. We would see how silly it would get. The ridiculous part was my employer was a retired cop, so the cops taking the guns knew what he was doing. Unloading junk for food $$$$.

  • Patrick McWilliams September 29, 2017, 1:35 pm

    Kansas passed a law prohibiting the use of public money to buy up guns. The last time they had one I was able to sell a batch of those recalled Sears shotguns, minus the bolts, for $50 each in K-Mart gift certificates. A few realistic-looking “Saturday Night Specials (actually $5 starter guns) and a worn-out Raven or two netted me quite a haul. I was able to sell some of the coupons at a discount to a friend who wanted get his kid a bike and used the cash to buy a nicer gun. Stop badmouthing “buybacks”. I’ve still got a couple more clunkers to unload.

  • Mike Watkins September 29, 2017, 12:08 pm

    Gun “buybacks” are just one more piece of evidence that proves liberalism is a form of mental illness. Glad I live in Arkansas where the pockets of idiots who promote stuff like gun “buybacks” are small and isolated.

    • Rhastus September 29, 2017, 1:44 pm


  • Russ September 29, 2017, 10:28 am

    This is a way to make liberals feel good and also get money into the hands of the dreamer % of urchins who turn in their crappy stolen or found guns. All a big game to them.

  • Allen Lawson September 29, 2017, 10:13 am

    Just another do gooder sponsored joke . They walk around with a woody and wet panties knowing they are saving the world . People are so dumb but entertaining.

  • joefoam September 29, 2017, 8:52 am

    The previous comment about the feel good factor is spot on. The “buy back” does nothing but remove junk firearms from circulation. It only serves to give politicians something to pat themselves on the back for, get some publicity and some votes. The votes are all that really matters, not public safety.

    • Donald Butterbaugh September 29, 2017, 10:03 am

      Yeah but it makes the DOGOODERs feel good, is that the main goal?

      • Mr. Magic October 15, 2017, 10:09 pm

        No, the main goal is to get the vote.

  • Evan Bennett September 29, 2017, 8:12 am

    Back in the 90’s the Wapello County Sheriff’s office hosted a buy back. It was initiated by the reserve and their first attempt was stopped because they were not aware that BATFE regulations applied to the acquisition of firearms. When I found out that they had finally received permission I called them anonymously and asked them if anyone could bring in guns for them to buy and they assured me that no restrictions would be applied. I cleaned out my storage bin – having been a gunsmith for many years I had a lot of parts guns. My wife carried over 18 guns into the sheriff’s office that Saturday morning. Almost all of them were missing parts and none of them were functional and the reservist didn’t know how to check them to make sure they were not loaded. Then he made a comment to my wife to the effect of “Wow hope you are not one of those Branch Davidians or something” and when he went to pay her he soon realized that he owed her more money than they had on hand. He gave her a check for the balance and told her that we could cash it at a local ( Wormhoudt ) lumber company that morning, which we did. The next Monday the Ottumwa Courier printed an article proclaiming the buy back a success and praising the effort which removed many “dangerous guns” from the streets of Ottumwa, Iowa. I saw only two other people carrying guns into the sheriff’s office that morning and they were a very elderly man and woman each with an object wrapped up in a towel.

  • Infidel762x51 September 29, 2017, 7:56 am

    Participating in a gun buyback is about a logical as getting a vasectomy because your neighbor has too many children.

  • Jon September 29, 2017, 7:52 am

    Hahaha, I don’t mind the buybacks. I’ve used them to dispose of my junk guns that I bought when I was a college student and couldn’t afford any good guns. The guns (working) I’ve sold aren’t wotrh nearly as much as the price they paid me (visa gift card). In turn I used that money to buy some really nice guns. Joke’s on them!

  • Jay September 29, 2017, 7:12 am

    90 Plus percent of the firearms bought back are usually none functioning junk to begin with and they can get money for junk!

  • SuperG September 27, 2017, 11:59 am

    But they will not stop their gun buybacks, because those buybacks are organized by city police departments, and the Chief is appointed by the Mayor, and the Mayor wants everybody to “feel good”. I don;t think I’ve ever seen a buyback run by a Sheriff, as they are elected by the people, and they recognize BS when they see it.

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