Calling All Criminals: New Free Gun Stores to Open in Tacoma
As cities across the Nation attempt to deal with increased violence within their borders, proposals have ranged from banning firearms all together to hamstringing citizens looking to legally obtain permits and licenses to such a point where the financial burdens and time constraints prove to be too much.
Enter Tacoma. While gun buy back programs have been wildly popular (yet horribly ineffective) among elected officials, this city of over 200,000 residents is looking to encourage those who have firearms to turn them in at new “drop-boxes” that are being proposed. Remember when you had to drive up and return your VHS to Blockbuster? That is in essence what this program proposes.
Police Chief Don Ramsdell stated:
“The main intent and goal is just to get these weapons off the streets.”
In return, Sgt. Jim Barrett, the president of the Tacoma Police Union who has daily interaction with the law enforcement officers in the area, goes on to say:
“Are we really expecting these people to walk down the street to this drop-box, with the gun tucked in their shorts, and drop it off? It doesn’t seem to me to be a thought-out process as of right now.”
Gun buy-back programs have become more and more popular with cities across the Nation. The intent of these programs is to provide citizens that have firearms, legally or illegally, prosecutorial relief in exchange to remove firearms from the streets.
Realistically, gun buy back programs, as highlighted by the National Research Council (or NRC,), fail to target the firearms that are actually used in crimes. The bottom line is that the firearms that are turned in via these programs are not the firearms that are “on the street” in the first place.
Let’s take a look at Australia. In 1996 a mandatory firearm buyback program was instituted by the government. Through these programs, there have been 1 million firearms destroyed. During this time frame, murders and suicides have dropped across the nation. Unfortunately, during that time, gun smuggling skyrocketed along with violent crime rates outside of homicide.
These buyback programs have, time and time again, provided a revenue stream for legal firearm owners who have non functioning or broken firearms, to get some cash to turn around and buy new firearms or ammunition with. Additionally, these expense fall solely on the taxpayers, including those who want to ban firearms all together.
If Tacoma wants to put boxes on the streets where firearms will be dropped, I can all but guarantee you that criminals will target these boxes or worse, target those who approach them with the intent to steal firearms before they are deposited. So if you live in Tacoma and want to drop a firearm in one of these boxes, I strongly recommend that you get your carry permit and arm yourself before you make a beeline for the Blockbuster style drop boxes.
Hopefully this idea ends the same way Blockbuster did, dissolved and removed from any future operations.