Delaware Legislative budget writers have set aside $200,000 for the state’s gun buyback program. The buyback will be administered by the Delaware State Police.
The $200k budget squeaked by with a 7-5 vote from the Joint Finance Committee. At nearly a quarter of a million dollars, $200,000 represents an absolutely massive sum for the state to spend on buying guns from citizens. Gun rights advocates and fiscal conservatives may not have much to worry about, though – the Joint Finance Committee allocated $200,000 for the same purpose last year and never spent a penny on firearms. Instead, the amount was used to cover the lease in one of the department’s buildings on Starlifter Avenue in Dover.
There’s currently no way of telling whether the state police will use this money to purchase private weapons at $100 to $200 each, or if the money will simply collect dust like it did last year.
Some critics of the budget plan argue that spending so much money on buybacks is a massive waste of state resources. Others state that lawmakers need to change the language of the plan so that police officers will not be able to turn around and resell the firearms.
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Sen. David G Lawson (R) has vocally opposed the budget plan, pointing to the failure of last year’s gun buyback. “To say they took them [guns] off the street is a bit of a misnomer.”
He added, “The guns that they get when they do this are simply the ones that have either come in from out of state or from under someone’s bed that they have no idea what to do with a gun to start with. So it doesn’t reduce crime. There’s nothing, coming from years of law enforcement, there’s no documentation out there that proves this.”
What do you think? Is this a good way for Delaware to prevent gun violence, or is it simply a waste of state resources?