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Connolly Urges $200 Million Gun Buyback Program

Forty House members sign letter backing proposed program added to any end-of-the-year fiscal cliff deal.

A letter co-written by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11th), and signed by 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, urges Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to support an immediate $200 million gun buyback program in any end-of-the-year fiscal cliff deal.

Connolly, whose district includes the national headquarters for the NRA, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida authored the letter to the House leaders. 

“Gun buybacks have proven successful in communities across the nation,” Connolly and Deutch said in a “Dear Colleague” to House members. “Adding $200 million to the final compromise on the fiscal cliff could remove as many as one million guns from our streets.” 

Including the gun buyback program as a way to reduce gun violence, the congressmen said including it in any year-end deal “is a simple, immediate step we can take to assure the public we are committed to taking meaningful action.”

Connolly and Deutch said federal financial support to help local communities and states conduct buyback programs could also bolster local economic activity. “Distributing funding to the states to run buyback programs using prepaid debit cards with a three-month expiration date could provide a jolt to local economies that have stagnated in the wake of the recession and concerns over the fiscal cliff.”

“The murder of 20 youngsters and six educators in their classrooms has galvanized the public’s desire for immediate action, and partnering with the states on a nationwide gun buyback program is a modest, common-sense start,” the two congressmen said.

It's not certain if there is enough support on Capitol Hill for any new gun laws. Although President Obama called for Congress to show “courage” to consider new gun-control laws, he faces challenges with "members of his own party who have a history of cowering from the gun debate," the National Journal points out.

Dave Webster December 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Gun buyback programs have most certainly not been "proven successful in communities across the nation," if by "proven successful," Mr. Connolly means a reduction in gun-related crime. With regard to a jolt to the economy, will taking money from Citizen A under Congress' taxing power to give it to Citizen B in order to destroy some property held by Citizen B actually be an overall benefit to the economy? It doesn't seem likely. Connolly claims this program will alleviate some concerns over the fiscal cliff. He doesn't explain how throwing a wrench into the fiscal cliff negotiations at the last minute will alleviate concerns of Americans over the uncertainties regarding whether a deal can be reached.
John Trimble December 26, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Another sad political stunt by Connolly. He does have good relations with the press to be able to publish such nonsense with absolutely no research or verification. From the Chicago Tribune: "The surrendered weapons gave a lot of support to the arguments of those critical of gun buyback programs. Some of the guns were old World War II collectibles. Other were rusty Saturday night specials, some missing pins were held together by duct tape. There was a lot of evidence that people had dug out old guns from their basements and were trying to get $75 for removing clutter from their house. There was little evidence that gang members were turning in the assault weapons they use to spray bullets in a drive by shooting." In other words, the good guys sell useless guns to the government for destruction; the bad guys can get more for their guns by selling them to their friends.

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