In a recent report from the LevittownPatch.com, Nassau County officials in New York held a gun buy back program. No big deal, many useful idiots turn in firearms for money as they are manipulated by media and government, but what caught my eye in this story was the fact that the story claims many of the weapons were non-licensed guns and that they were turned in by relatives of the owners.

The story claims that 330 unlicensed firearms were turned in, including almost 200 handguns, 15 semi-automatic rifles and seven sawed-off shotguns.

What was the reward for turning in weapons?

  • $100 for a rifle
  • $200 for a handgun
  • $400 for a semi-automatic rifle

"The program works so well because we work with the local clergy and people feel like they have a safe place to come," said County Edward P. Mangano. "People also feel they are doing the right thing."

Inspector Kenneth Black of Nassau County spoke with me on the phone to answer questions about the buy back, indicating that number of weapons they acquired was closer to 360. He said that the event happened at Grace Cathedral in Uniondale so that it would be assumed as a "safe haven" for people to bring in their guns.

While Levittown reported the guns as "illegal," Black said that they were not illegal. I asked him if they accepted licensed guns, long guns and replicas, as the article stated that they did not. Inspector Black told me that they will not accept them if the person tells them the gun is licensed. Otherwise, they have no idea if they are or not.

Within a week the department verifies whether the guns are stolen or reported missing, according to Black.

In an interview, Mangano said many of the weapons were brought in by relatives of the owners. Immediately that causes me to wonder if the relatives knew of the weapons turned in, so I asked Inspector Black about it. He informed me that, again, they had no way of knowing without actually checking into the guns themselves, which they do not do immediately when they are turned in. However, he did indicate that there are people who turn guns in for cash that were owned by members of their families who are now deceased and they simply didn't want them.

I would imagine that is the case in certain instances. However, when I asked, Inspector Black did indicate that some people could "get one over" on the buy back program, simply because they don't check and then they don't have a way of following up on someone who may steal weapons in order to turn them in at events like this for a quick $100, $200, or $400.

Also, it must be remembered that many gun owners don't have their weapons out in use every week. In that case, could those weapons be taken and not reported for some time as lost or stolen? I think that is quite possible.

One might wonder what the legal issues that might arise for the church and the County, along with the police should these weapons be found to be stolen. Would that not then translate into purchasing stolen property? Though Inspector Black assured me that if they came across such a firearm it would be returned to the owner, the problem is that tax payers would be out $1-400 and the person who got the cash would not be able to be identified.

While voluntary gun buy backs are within the rights of the citizens to engage in, it seems to not be a good practice to do so without verifying that the firearms that the people, via tax money, are paying for are able to be sold by their owners. Second, I have to ask what business government has in engaging in things like gun buy back programs. If people want to sell firearms, they should be allowed to sell them privately. If not, that's what we have pawn shops and other guns shops for. In most cases, you'll get a lot more for the firearm there than what Nassau County was paying out.

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