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Senate Bill: Gun Buy-Back Programs Wasting Potential Revenue

A proposed bill in the Senate would eliminate gun buyback programs in the state.

Air Guns

Photo: Jimmy Jenkins

Gun buyback programs take in guns from people willing to donate them for a small fee.

The Indiana Senate is hearing a bill that would eliminate gun buy-back programs across the state.

The bill would prohibit law enforcement from destroying any firearms unless its serial number has been obliterated. Instead, it encourages police to auction the guns off to licensed dealers.

Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, is sponsoring the bill and says buy-back programs are wasteful and deprive law enforcement agencies of potential revenue.

“That practice doesn’t make sense,” Tomes said. “To have people bring in firearms and spend money for them to grind them up doesn’t make sense.  It goes back to my point that this is a much better business practice.”

Paul Helmke, the former Fort Wayne Mayor and the former president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,  disagrees with the bill and says individual cities and police departments should have the right to reduce the amount of guns on their streets.

“What this bill says is that ‘no, we want more guns in more communities in the hands of more people’, and says that local communities can’t try to get these unwanted guns off the street,” Helmke said. “If these communities do get these unwanted guns, they’re not allowed to destroy the guns, but instead they’re required to sell them and get them back on the street again.”

If the bill passes the Senate, it will go to the House of Representatives for approval.

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