City leaders in Houston are still hailing the success of a recent gun “buyback” program despite the fact that one man cashed in big time by selling the city a box of cheap 3D-printed guns.
Though his name has not been released to the public, the individual reportedly made $3,100 selling 62 homemade guns — that cost him roughly $3 to fabricate! — to the city for at least $50 each.
The profitable stunt was to push back against the misuse of tax dollars.
“The goal was not personal profit,” the man told Fox26, “but to send [Houston leaders] a message about spending $1 million tax dollars on something that has no evidence of any effect on crime…”
Earlier this year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner unveiled the “One Safe Houston” initiative. The city received $53 million in federal funding to fight crime, $1 million of which is being earmarked for buyback programs.
Big shout out to whoever it was that turned in 62 3D printed guns for $150 each at a Houston gun buy-back pic.twitter.com/QYUNxG0Jg6— Xaniken (@Xaniken) July 31, 2022
In light of the participant’s big score, Mayor Turner said organizers will not be accepting 3D-printed guns during the next event.
“We’re going to exclude those next time around,” said Mayor Turner. “This is a program designed for people who want to voluntarily relinquish their guns.”
In total, the city took in 845 firearms. Visa gift cards were exchanged in increments of $50, $100, $150 and $200, depending on the type of firearm.
The city is planning on hosting at least two more buybacks in the coming weeks.
The anonymous man who made the $3,100 said he would like to see some reforms at these events.
“Pay fair prices [at gun buyback events], use private donations rather than tax dollars, and don’t destroy historic guns,” he said.
But he’s not the only one who wants to see some changes. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg doesn’t like the no-questions-asked policy.
Ogg told KHOU11 that it gives “anonymity and immunity for everyone who turns in a weapon.”
“This is extremely important on a number of different legal issues and also to be able to solve crime,” First Assistant DA David Mitcham told KHOU11 on Monday.
“Someone is turning in a gun that is related to a crime and then there’s no way of being able to follow up an investigation because identification wasn’t pursued whenever they turned the gun in,” he added.
The city of Houston should definitely reconsider how it spends the remainder of that $1 million as putting toward another “buyback” would be no better than lighting it on fire.