started this petition to
U.S. Congress, Steven Dettelbach, Director, ATF
would be supported by both Republicans and Democrats, since it would
not force or require anyone to do anything – it would be all
voluntary. It is designed to take guns off the streets—not from
those with expensive gun collections.
Congress would create a fund to buy back guns from the public. What
will be different is the form of payment.
Working with big city police departments, who know what cheap guns
sell for in inner cities, the amount of payment would have set
amounts for a hand gun, rifle or shotgun, and semi-automatic rifles.
This could be $50, $100, and $150, or possibly $100, $150, and $200.
This is not to pay for even the wholesale value of a gun, but simply
to take guns off the streets.
Here is where the buy back is unique. Instead of paying cash for
the guns turned into the police departments, or other approved
locations (perhaps in a large city, non-police organizations would
volunteer to be a collection point, if they have a safe place to
store the weapons), the person would be given a debit card THAT CAN
ONLY BE USED AT A GROCERY STORE OR SUPERMARKET and would be limited
to groceries, even if the store also sold guns. The debit cards
would say on the card that guns or ammo could not be bought with
those cards. The debit amounts would be accounted to the government,
perhaps quite similar to money collected for Medicare cards. We
don't want to recreate the wheel, just plug in to what already
As a check and balance, the ATF would collect the guns once a month
and verify that the debit cards given out and those that remain equal
the guns taken in and then provide the gun collection locations with
more debit cards if needed. The ATF could also supply safes to
locations in inner cities that would like to take part, but need a
safe place to store them. The ATF would then take the guns to be
destroyed. The gun collection location would have written down, or
entered on a form provided by the ATF, the serial number of each gun
they had collected for the ATF to verify.
look at three different scenarios as to how this would work.
The wife says, "George, we're short on money for food this
month. Take one of your old guns and turn it in for one of those
debit cards, so we don't starve, or have to stand in line for hours
for a charity handout." He gives up a cheap gun. But a couple
of months later she is after him again, and he has to give up another
gun. A side benefit is that the charities don't have to acquire as
much food over the long run as they do now.
A 14 year old kid of a single mother knows where there is a handgun,
and is considering getting it to hold up a convenience store.
Instead, he takes the gun to the turn-in location and gets a debit
card for his mother to use.
The relatives of a gun owner with a number of guns wants to have
nothing to do with them in an estate sale after the person's death.
This gives them the option of turning them all in and getting the
debit cards, either to use for themselves or to donate to an
organization that serves those in need.
If enough people get behind this, it can be a step to reduce gun violence. It is VOLUNTARY. No one is forced to do anything.