When Oregon tried a gun buyback program several years back, it apparently turned into a bidding war between the organizers and gun enthusiasts. Tom Perritt said people were outside the buyback location with stacks of cash and signs saying “We buy guns.” “The people would walk up and go, ‘I’ve got this and they’re going to give me $125. How much will you give me?’ Guy would say, I’ll give you 200 bucks.’ ‘OK, here you go,’ ” Mr. Perritt recalled. He said he ended up selling to the organizers — three pistols he said were “junk,” but for which he received a voucher for $375. He used the money to buy a scope for a rifle and several ammunition magazines for his Ruger. In the wake of two mass shootings this month, Democratic politicians have called for a national policy of gun buybacks, saying something needs to be done to get “assault weapons” off the streets. They point to the experience of countries such as Australia, which held a mandatory buyback after a mass shooting in the 1990s, and saw gun violence rates tumble. The calls also have ignited a debate over whether an Australian-style buyback would work in the U.S., or whether it would even be legal. [full article]
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