D’oh! Buybacks Are Back
Just when it looked like Saint Louis was wising up to the flaws in gun buyback programs, the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners went and approved another gun buyback program for the city.
Although Dave Stokes beat me to the punch with his entry about this story earlier today, I’d like to reiterate that these programs are self-defeating. Their results run counter to the stated intent of program advocates: reducing the number of privately held guns. Instead, buybacks lead to a larger number of more effective weapons than before. Ultimately, these programs accomplish only one thing: creating an artificial price floor for weapons, thus increasing the value of otherwise useless guns. People can sell back worthless old guns and allocate the proceeds toward the purchase of bright, shiny, new, bigger guns with tricked-out scopes and lasers. These buybacks are counterproductive.
Now, I wonder which will be the larger factor in this year’s buyback: the possibility of increasing gun and ammo prices in the face of an uncertain regulatory future, or an alderman calling for Saint Louisans to arm themselves rather than depend on the STLPD?