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From The Editor | Honolulu's Shame

From The Editor | Honolulu's Shame

In a near-perfect case study of how some politicians see guns as evil instruments no matter who owns them, the Honolulu Police Department and City of Honolulu have decided to destroy more than $500,000 worth of fully functional handguns (some of them brand new) instead of selling them to generate revenue for the city.

And just in case you think I’m exaggerating when I say “no matter who owns them,” consider this: The city won’t even allow police officers to purchase their old guns. According to reports, many HPD officers were willing to buy their old guns from the department, even going through a vendor for liability reasons—a practice that is common throughout the United States—but officials have refused.

The whole episode began when HPD decided to replace more than 2,300 of its current Smith & Wesson handguns with new Glock 17s. At the time, many police officers said that since the old guns still had value, they should not be thrown away or destroyed, but sold. In fact, about 200 of the guns are new and unused, still in their boxes.The fact that the city doesn’t trust its own highly trained officers to purchase the very guns they have carried on the job, and doesn’t trust private citizens looking to exercise their constitutional rights, sounds like something straight out of a Michael Bloomberg gun-ban training manual.

According to reports in Hawaii News Now, police discussed several options with city lawyers and budget officials, including selling the old guns to the general public, which would have brought in $250 each, or about $575,000. Selling the guns with the restriction that they could only be purchased by law enforcement would have generated $150 for each firearm, or about $345,000. Lastly, selling them for parts at $100 apiece would have netted the city about a quarter-million dollars.

Since none of those options seemed palatable to those in charge, only one remained—destroying the firearms. Alarmingly, this falls right in line with the typical anti-gun agenda. The fact that the city doesn’t trust its own highly trained officers to purchase the very guns they have carried on the job, and doesn’t trust private citizens looking to exercise their constitutional rights, sounds like something straight out of a Michael Bloomberg gun-ban training manual.

Such an attitude by a big-city police department isn’t rare, but it is despicable. It’s also a slap in the face to Honolulu taxpayers: The city’s disdain for guns and gun owners is not only throwing away more than a half-million dollars of taxpayers’ money, but also however much it will cost to destroy the guns.

In a time when funding for law-enforcement agencies is hard to come by throughout the nation, it seems strange that Honolulu officials would put anti-gun politics above ready cash that could be used for law-enforcement programs. The only logical conclusion is that those officials believe guns are evil, and they mistrust anyone who might legally purchase one. Such an attitude is more despicable than pouring a half-million dollars that could be used for law enforcement down a black hole.

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