2020 Dems embrace federal gun buyback program in wake of mass shootings
A growing number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are calling for a federal gun buyback program to reduce the estimated 400 million guns owned by civilians in America — but the idea faces resistance from gun rights groups who accuse Democrats of trying to “demonize firearms.”
In the wake of the deadly El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, some in the crowded Democratic field have released plans — or voiced support — for allowing gun owners to turn over their weapons to the government and get money in return.
In a recent television interview, former Vice President Joe Biden called for a “national buyback program” to get firearms “off the street.” Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper to respond to criticism he would be taking away people’s guns, Biden responded, “Bingo! You’re right, if you have an assault weapon.”
Former Obama administration official Julián Castro, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock are among those who have expressed support for some sort of buyback program…
But pro-gun groups argue the idea is nothing short of confiscation — let alone a tried and failed solution.
“What you see the Democrat candidates are doing is they simply want to demonize firearms and they’re coming up with the same old failed policies that haven’t worked in the past,” said Erich Pratt, the president of Gun Owners of America.
There has never been a federal push for a buyback program. Some municipalities like Baltimore, Boston and Los Angeles have had them in the past. Some local police departments are known to hold anonymous buybacks to eliminate impunity.
But gun policy experts say this is a “needle in the haystack” approach when it comes to reducing crime — and comes at a tremendous cost to local police departments…