NRA – ILA
The term “gun buyback” is a misnomer, in that a government cannot buy back something that it never owned in the first place. However, in Santa Fe, N.M., organizers of a city-sponsored event billed as a gun “buyback” even managed to get the “buy” part wrong, and violated the privacy of the participants in the process.
The Santa Fe turn-ins (a more apt term) were held on Jan. 12 and Feb. 9, and after running out of the $25,000 in debit cards allotted for the event, organizers began issuing I.O.U.s. Participants’ names, telephone numbers, addresses and firearms were recorded, with the promise that they would receive payment for their guns shortly. Lino Ortiz, who turned in two handguns at the Feb. 9 event, told local media in an article that appeared on the 19th, “I’ve yet to be compensated for it. They said they would have us a debit card last week, but I called the Finance Department, and the lady down there told me, ‘Well, we still haven’t gotten them yet.’”
Adding insult to injury, the list of the dozens of people who received I.O.U.s was then made part of the public record when it was distributed at a Santa Fe City Council Finance Committee meeting on Feb. 18. Democratic State Legislator Brian Egolf (D-47), who turned in guns at the event, was among those upset with release of the information, stating, “My concern is, for those who do wish to remain anonymous, that there be a way for them to do so and for them to be able to rely on the city’s assertion that they’ll remain anonymous.” Police Chief Ray Rael was surprised at the release of the personal information, having been told that participant anonymity would be respected, stating, “It shouldn’t have happened, but it did… I apologize on behalf of the city, I don’t think that information should’ve been out there.”
Such turn-in events serve as propaganda for gun controllers, are a burden on the taxpayer, and serve no public safety purpose. A January 4 National Institute of Justice memo outlining President Obama’s gun control options states, “Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented.” The author goes on to point out, “The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime.”