Given the less-than-stellar effectiveness of most so-called gun “buyback” programs, it’s difficult to fathom why anyone would want to implement one on a federal level. But that’s exactly what U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J., is attempting to do. The Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act, which has 22 co-sponsors, would set up a program to pay gun owners a premium of 25 percent over market value to turn in their firearms.
The program is estimated to cost $360 million; participants would receive a debit card that could be used to buy anything—except more guns or ammo. We don’t see how this could possibly save any lives, but it will surely allow enterprising criminals several possibilities for gaming the system.