Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. introduced the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buy Back Act of 2013, a bill that increases incentives to sell back the most widely used guns in crimes around the country, provides a stimulus to the economy, and recycles the sold guns into environmentally friendly objects needed throughout the community.
The Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buy Back Act of 2013 provides a two year $360 million grant that will allow the Department of Justice Director of Bureau of Justice Assistance to distribute smart debit cards to state and local governments as well as gun shop owners, who can then distribute the cards to gun owners in exchange for a firearm listed in the top guns used in crimes according to an unpublished study by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The ATF derived the list from its investigations of 88,570 guns recovered from crime scenes in 46 cities in 2000 where it found that the weapons recovered from crimes that topped the list had a “time-to-crime” factor – meaning from the time of purchase to the time of a crime being committed – of about a year to a year and a half.
“Since the massacre in Newtown, there has been greater attention on the need to reduce violence in our neighborhoods,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “Although no one piece of legislation will eliminate all gun violence, this bill is unlike any other in that it targets the most widely used guns in violent crimes. Many of these guns are old, they’re sold for little to nothing on the streets to young kids, and so they are very easy for criminals to get their hands on. Because these guns are sold at a higher value than market price, gun owners have an even greater incentive to trade in their old guns.”
The program’s debit cards will provide gun owners with funds 25 percent above the market value of the guns traded in, based on an assessment conducted by the Director of Bureau of Justice Assistance, and will be valid for two years. It is expected that sales on individual firearms could range in price anywhere between $40-$400 depending on alterations, condition, age, and model of the firearm. Consumers can then spend the money on their debit cards and help stimulate the local economy; however, the traded for debit cards cannot be used to purchase firearms or ammunition. The debit card will automatically notify stores that a purchaser is attempting to use the cards to buy guns, and stores will be responsible for repaying the government in the amount of the gun sale if they violate this provision of the law.
Finally, the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buy Back Act of 2013 is unique in that it is environmentally friendly as it will designate 10% of the grant money toward recycling of the guns traded-in. The recycled gun will then be used in street signs, refrigerators, stainless steel products, and other goods in the community.
“This bill truly is a win-win for states and municipalities because it will get guns off the streets, stimulate local economies, and provide an environmentally friendly use for the recycled materials,” Rep. Payne continued. “New Jersey’s Tenth District has had tremendous success in implementing gun buyback programs in the past, but most recently these programs have become costly and cities are less inclined to implement them during a recession. This bill takes the cost out of the equation for the state and local governments and also allows for private sellers to alleviate some of the burden.
“This legislation is one step in the right direction of reducing gun violence in our neighborhoods, and I will work aggressively with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see to it that this important legislation is passed,” Rep. Payne said.
Specifically, the legislation will do the following:
• Requests the Federal government to provide $360 million for a gun buy-back program where gun-owners can return their weapons to gun shops.
• The Director of Bureau of Justice Assistance will distribute the cards without an amount, but provide a list with the market value of what each gun should be. Gun owners will receive 25% above the market value of the gun. Gun shops are allowed to increase these funds if the guns are altered or improved (ie. better handle grips or scopes).
• The federal government will only finance the guns listed below. These were mentioned by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) 2000 census as the top ten guns used in crimes. The additional guns on the list are those that are commonly found on the street.
• Once the weapon is turned in, gun owners will receive a federal government issued smart debit card for their weapon. Each debit card requires individuals to have a valid ID card.
• The debit card cannot be used to purchase new guns. This will be stated on the card. If a business violates this rule, they must refund the entire amount to the federal government.
• The debit cards will have a smart chip that reads the merchant category code of the store. The debit cards will be prohibited from use at Gun Stores and Pawn Shops through its merchant category codes. The card will also visibly display the sentence “Guns and/or ammunition are not to be purchased with this card.”
• The debit card is valid for two years.
• Gun shop owners must provide a yearly print out showing the specific guns turned in and the money given in return. Shop owners would receive an incentive determined by the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
• Gun shop owners must turn over the returned guns to their local ATF or local government agency. All guns will be recycled.
• The states will receive an additional 9 month grace period after the end of the 2 year program to complete the recycling aspect of the law. So if the program ends in December of 2016, the states should return the funds by September of 2017 to the General Treasury.
Guns accepted by the program will be the following:
1. Smith and Wesson .38 revolver
2. Smith and Wesson .40 semiautomatic pistol
3. Haskell Hi-Point JHP 45 semiautomatic pistol
4. Iberia Firearm JCP40 semiautomatic pistol
5. Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic
6. Hi-Point CF380 .380 semiautomatic pistol
7. Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic
8. Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun
9. Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic
10. Smith and Wesson .357 revolver
11. Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic
12. Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic
13. Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic
14. Cobra FS380 .38 semiautomatic pistol
Recycled products will include:
1. Street Signs
2. Energy Efficient Washing Machines
3. Car Parts
4. Energy Efficient Refrigerators
5. Other Steel Products (Railroad tracks, Metro tracks, etc)