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Buy-Back Nets 5 Assault Rifles

by Allan Appel | Dec 23, 2012 11:54 am

(21) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Legal Writes

Allan Appel Photo New Haven has 64 fewer guns to worry about—including one less Bushmaster .223.

That Bushmaster .223”>Bushmaster— the same model of rifle used to murder 20 schoolchildren in Newtown—and 63 other lethal weapons were turned in Saturday afternoon in a local gun buy-back. The event was sparked by the Newtown massacre.

The day-long event was run by the police department at its training academy on Sherman Parkway. It was staffed by officers and employees of the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital who are part of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven.

Police spokesman David Hartman said the buy-back’s 64-weapon harvest ties the police department buy-back record, including one that was held on Dec. 1, which was national gun buy-back day.

New Haven and Bridgeport decided to mount a second buy-back on Saturday in the wake of the Newtown shootings, Hartman said. A third one will be held on Saturday December 29th, also between 10. a.m. and 4 p.m.

Click here for the details and the rules on the “no questions asked” buy-back.

Hartman called the day “hugely successful,” especially with the receipt of five assault rifles. Gift certificates for $50 were given for each operable hand gun, and $100 for rifles. All the gift certificates came in the form of American Express cards, not cards from specific stores as in years gone by.

By terms of the anonymous buy-back, Hartman could not give details about the source of any of the transactions, including the .223 Bushmaster. He did say that when that weapon was walked into the academy, officers did ooh and ahh to see a gun of such notoriety and infamy.

The guns ranged from assault weapons with their clips to the rusty to the almost antique. (Actual antiques were not accepted.) All had the capacity to kill people.

The people who came in with guns Saturday reflected the whole range of the population of New Haven, Hartman said. He added that most of the guns were registered and legally owned. Many were worth less than $50; to get the money in this efficient manner, without having to sell the gun and deal with paperwork, was appealing.

“Thugs aren’t walking in here,” he said of the people who showed up.

He said several people who came in did so sparked by the news of the Newtown massacre. The weapons were likely locked and stored before; but they might have been stolen and used in burglaries or end up on the street, Hartman noted.

Hartman said that the guns, which were arrayed in individual boxes with the details of the weapon written in large letters, could have become the ones “that bad guys are carrying next year.”  If the buy-back saves one life or contributes to one less shooting incident, the buy-back will have been successful, he said.

Faith Restored

Hartman said that two moments stood out for him during the six hours of receiving the weapons.

Two women, whom Hartman described as “silver-haired,” came in and turned in guns. When they did, they marveled at the weapons arrayed on the tables at the academy. That was because both had worked as young women manufacturing clips at the local Marlin Firearms Company.

Earlier in the day an older “gentleman” came in direct from the hospital, said Hartman and Pina Volano, who coordinated the buy-back for the coalition.

He had left his wife’s side at the hospital to present the coalition with a $50 gift certificate for Stop & Shop to benefit the buy-back. The man told Volano and Hartman that he had not wanted to leave his wife but she insisted. As soon as he presented the certificate, he went directly back to the hospital.

“It was a faith-reaffirming moment,” Hartman said.

Police plan next to destroy the guns. But if any catch officers’ eyes as potentially having been involved in shootings in New Haven, they will be first sent to forensics.

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posted by: Threefifths on December 23, 2012  4:32pm

Gun buyback programs have been largely ineffective because most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones.

posted by: Tim Holahan on December 23, 2012  4:52pm

This is great news, and an important step toward reducing gun violence in New Haven. Congratulations and thanks to those involved.

The people whom we most want using the program are unlikely to plan it out. They are likely to want to get rid of a gun when seized by conscience or in desperate need of money. If no buy-back program is running or planned within a week, their circumstances may change, and the opportunity will be lost.

Therefore, the program should run continuously, as it does in New York, and the city should find the funding to make the buy-back price closer to market rate (New York offers $200-400 dollars).

That might seem expensive, but imagine the savings in police time alone if a violent crime is averted.

Again, I applaud the work of the police officers and the Children’s Hospital staffers, but “thugs” are exactly the people who should be turning in their guns, so let’s figure out how to extend and expand the program.

posted by: Nathan on December 23, 2012  10:20pm

The program is largely ineffective because most of the guns turned in are old junk, despite the claim that “antiques” are not accepted.  This story doesn’t show them, but you can clearly see it in the video for WTNH’s story.

I see two “assault” rifles in the pictures, both are based on the same type of .233 weapon.  Where are the other three?

That Bushmaster rifle has a used sales value of perhaps over $1,000 due to the current run on such weapons at gun stores.  Who in the world would turn it in for $100, and why in the world would the police destroy it rather than adding it to their inventory?

posted by: Adam E on December 24, 2012  8:49am

Three-fifths, please back up the statement “most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones” with some sort of reference, please. 

I’ve seen publications which cast doubt on the overall effectiveness of gun buybacks (HERE & HERE), however I find your claim particularly difficult to believe. I’m not familiar with gun markets, but it seems to me that if somebody was looking to ‘upgrade’ to a more lethal weapon, there are other avenues available to them which would offer compensation closer to the market price for their gun than the $50 - 100 being offered here. 

Further, you seem to be asserting that these people are cashing in their old guns, buying new ones, and then going out and committing crimes with them.

posted by: Edward_H on December 24, 2012  12:35pm

I can’t tell from the pictures but if there are no selective fire rifles there they are not “assault weapons’ according to the state of Connecticut.

http://www.jud.ct.gov/JI/criminal/glossary/assaultweapon.htm

Can you confirm if there are any selective fire rifles there?

posted by: Threefifths on December 24, 2012  4:35pm

posted by: Adam E on December 24, 2012 8:49am

Three-fifths, please back up the statement “most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer,


What makes you think people are not buying Newer weapons.Notice I said most people.Can you prove they are not.


Further, you seem to be asserting that these people are cashing in their old guns, buying new ones, and then going out and committing crimes with them.

Asserting.Again I never said that they going out and committing crimes with them.You need to do some more research.

posted by: HhE on December 25, 2012  1:06am

3/5ths, if you are going to say “Gun buyback programs have been largely ineffective because most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones.” then it is incumbent on you to prove it, not challenge someone else to prove your claim false. 


Adam E, I think the research you “need” to do is how 3/5th’s arguments have more dogma than a dog show on Mother’s Day.  Case in point, your well articulated inquiry into his absurb claim.  “...buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones.” suggests, if not implies, “...they going out and committing crimes with them.”

Welcome to our club.  I am sure robn will welcome you too.  Membership is pretty useless.  The dues amount to using your keyboard to bang your head against a wall.

posted by: Adam E on December 25, 2012  8:51am

Threefifths,

I stated why I found your hypothesis surprising:
If the gun owner’s goal is to finance the purchase of a newer gun, then unless the resale value of their firearm is below the amount offered at the buyback, they are better off going somewhere where they can get closer to the market value for their trade in. 

I did indeed notice that you said ‘most people,’ and that is exactly what prompted me to question the claim.  I didn’t say it wasn’t the case or that it was impossible, just surprising.  When asked to provide evidence however, instead of doing so, you try to put it on me to prove that they are not.  You suggest that I ‘do some more research’, which in turn suggests that you’ve already done some of your own - all I was asking was for you to point me to it.

posted by: Adam E on December 25, 2012  10:41am

The heads up is much appreciated, HhE - I will take this into consideration when picking my future battles!

posted by: HhE on December 25, 2012  11:13am

Adam E, it is like the cakes at the supermarket; I know I ought to just walk away, I know there is no food value, I remembering promising myself “never again,” and yet I keep getting pulled in. 

Another occasionally right, but always poorly argued is anonymous.

posted by: Threefifths on December 25, 2012  12:35pm

posted by: HhE on December 25, 2012 1:06am

3/5ths, if you are going to say “Gun buyback programs have been largely ineffective because most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones.” then it is incumbent on you to prove it, not challenge someone else to prove your claim false.

Read the report.

Gun Buybacks Fail To Cut Crime, Killings
Programs Attract Wrong Weapons, Study Says

By Mike Dorning
Washington Bureau, Chicago Tribune

Notice this. Sometimes, people also use the money they receive from turning in an old gun- one that would command a low price on resale- to help pay for a higher-quality weapon. In St. Louis, 14 percent of buyback participants said they planned to purchase a new gun within the next year. Another 13 percent said they might.

Said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who conducted the study: “We found that the people most likely to be planning to buy another gun are the respondents at highest risk for gun violence. They tended to be the younger respondents, they tended to be the respondents more likely to have arrest records.”
Read the rest and weep.

http://www.kc3.com/news/buybacks_fail.htm

posted by: Adam E on December 25, 2012 10:41am

The heads up is much appreciated, HhE - I will take this into consideration when picking my future battles!

Heads up alright.Read the New York Times Report on Gun Buy Backs.

Notice.Lawrence Sherman, the president of the International Society of Criminology and University of Pennsylvania professor, was less optimistic about the effort. ‘‘I think they’re wasting their money,’’ said Dr. Sherman, an author of a recent study for the Justice Department that listed gun buyback programs under ‘‘what doesn’t work.’’ He added that those who took advantage of the program could use the $100 to buy a more powerful gun on the black market.

Read the rest.My point is it does happen.Now disprove me wrong


http://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/11/nyregion/for-2nd-year-a-gun-buyback-program-is-held-in-brooklyn.html

posted by: HhE on December 25, 2012  3:52pm

So we are clear, I have never thought gun buy back programs were a great idea.  They may do some good, but they are also taken advantage of.  (Remember the state buy back about 15 years ago, where SKS rifles were at first classified as “assault weapons” and thus worth $500 under the program?  Going rate for an SKS at the time?  About $100.  There were people showing up with multiple, just purchased, SKSs, looking to score $400 profit each.)

“Most” means more than 50%.  14% + 13% = 27%, which is less than 50%, and thus is not “most.”

“He added that those who took advantage of the program could use the $100 to buy a more powerful gun on the black market.”

“Could” does not necessarily mean “would.”

So I guess I proved 3/5ths wrong by just using the content and structure of his argument.  Not the first time.

posted by: Threefifths on December 26, 2012  12:36am

posted by: HhE on December 25, 2012 3:52pm

Most” means more than 50%.  14% + 13% = 27%, which is less than 50%, and thus is not “most

Sorry,Were does most means more than 50%.If he would have said out of 100 people half of the people use buy back money to buy new weapons,then that would be 50.He didnot say that.Were in the report did he give the number of people.

He added that those who took advantage of the program could use the $100 to buy a more powerful gun on the black market.”

“Could” does not necessarily mean “would.”

You fail to read the reports which one says Sometimes, people also use the money they receive from turning in an old gun- one that would command a low price on resale- to help pay for a higher-quality weapon. In St. Louis, 14 percent of buyback participants said they planned to purchase a new gun within the next year. Another 13 percent said they might.

Notice where it says In St. Louis, 14 percent of buyback participants said they planned to purchase a new gun within the next year. Another 13 percent said they might.

So I guess I proved 3/5ths wrong by just using the content and structure of his argument.  Not the first time.

You did not prove me wrong.Look at you argument.Then it is incumbent on you to prove it, not challenge someone else to prove your claim false. and I did just that with these two reports.

P.S My bad Let us go to the video tape.

http://youtu.be/gMFa8CBqWRg

posted by: Adam E on December 26, 2012  9:03am

Three-fifths,

First of all, THIS is where ‘most’ means greater than 50%.  A fairly reputable source, I’d say.

Now let’s take a look at your original hypothesis:

Gun buyback programs have been largely ineffective because most of the people who turn in their old guns use the buyback money to buy newer, more lethal ones.”

Nothing in any of the materials you have linked to supports this at all. In fact, as HhE pointed out, it actually refutes it. 

Nobody is disagreeing that this does happen, it just doesn’t happen in the majority of instances.  Nor is it the deciding factor in the effectiveness of gun buybacks.

Nobody is disagreeing with you about whether these programs are effective or not. In fact, the two links I included in my first post reach many of the same conclusions as the material you linked to.  While it is impossible to count the lives that may actually be saved in avoiding accidental gun deaths, my personal feeling is that these programs are largely political ‘feel-good’ plays that net some good photo ops, but that accomplish little beyond that.

However, when you say that the ‘programs have been ineffective because the people who turn in their old guns just buy new ones’, you are in effect asserting that, because the ‘success’ of buyback programs is measured by looking at gun violence before and after the events, these people are committing crimes with the ‘newer, more lethal’ weapons they are purchasing (or the new guns are stolen from them and used to commit crimes) that causes the rate of gun crimes to increase above the pre-buyback level.  It doesn’t matter if the buyback nets 10 guns or 10,000 guns, if the amount of gun crime increases afterward, they are perceived to be ineffective, period.  In order for the phenomenon you suggest to be the deciding factor in their effectiveness however, it would necessarily mean that the new guns purchased are directly involved in the increase in gun crime. 

Since all this back & forth has resulted from simple disagreement over the wording of your argument, can we simply end this by revising your first post to read: “One reason that gun buyback programs may be ineffective is because there is evidence that shows that some of the participants simply use the buyback money to purchase newer, more lethal guns.”  Is that fair to say?

posted by: HhE on December 26, 2012  9:48am

Adam E, This is what I was on about.

The mean of “most” changes to “some” and your “seam to be asserting” becomes “asserting.”

posted by: Threefifths on December 26, 2012  10:42am

posted by: Adam E on December 26, 2012 9:03am

Nobody is disagreeing with you about whether these programs are effective or not. In fact, the two links I included in my first post reach many of the same conclusions as the material you linked to.  While it is impossible to count the lives that may actually be saved in avoiding accidental gun deaths, my personal feeling is that these programs are largely political ‘feel-good’ plays that net some good photo ops, but that accomplish little beyond that.

I agree with this.But you ask me for some sort of reference to my statement and I gave you the two reports in which they said most people.If you look at the video you will hear the same thing. In fact I believe that the Bushmaster rifle was put there to look good.

posted by: HhE on December 26, 2012  12:20pm

Bang on, Adam E.  You are The Master.

Welcome to HhE’s Fantasy All Stars NHI Posters (along with streever, robn, brutus2011, ceaderhilresident, and Jonathan Hopkins).

posted by: Charl on December 26, 2012  12:47pm

How many of these guns which are sold by “anonymous” people to the city/state/federal agency which is sponsoring the Gun Buy Back program have actually been used to commit unsolved murders and unsolved shootings?

Think about that.

If you were a psychopathic, violent criminal, would you not get absolute pleasure in getting paid cash money to have the police destroy the very evidence of your crimes?

These Gun Buy Back programs are misguided.

posted by: HhE on December 26, 2012  1:19pm

Charl, funny story.  In Arizona, the police departments may keep and use turned in and confiscate firearms (I believe the same is true in Connecticut).  Someone once bragged about a murder he committed, since the 1911 he used must have been destroyed because the police confiscated it.  No, our SWAT Team has it.  A quick ballistic cheek, and that psychopath is doing life in Florance.

Some friends of mine thought about making a documentary film about buying a cheep handgun, shooting it to near destruction, turning it in the the NYPD for money to buy another cheep handgun, and repeating the process.  There was the issue of encouraging manufacturers to make cheesy .308ACPs, .32ACPs, and .22LR pistols, and the worry about bringing illegal guns into NYC, and then there is this…

Connecticut State Police Q:  “Where all these handguns you keep buying?

Our A:  “New York?”

I think you are right about this as primarily a feel good measure.

posted by: Adam E on December 26, 2012  2:09pm

Thank you, HhE!  I don’t comment too frequently, but I look forward to future discussions with everybody.

posted by: Edward_H on December 26, 2012  5:19pm

In CT an Assault weapon has a specific legal definition. The pictures do not confirm that any rifles met this definition. A better title for this article would be : Newton Killer Type Rifle Surrendered in New Haven Buy Back!!!” You get the same sensationalistic effect yet remain factually correct.

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