Municipalities have spent millions of dollars on gun buyback programs to get weapons off the streets. Now town of Haverstraw in New York States plan to sell the former village police force arsenal to the public, says the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y. The Town Board has declared 26 firearms as surplus. The town will accept proposals from federally licensed firearms dealers who want to buy them. For sale are 23, 9 mm SIG SAUER pistols, two Ruger Mini-14 rifles, and one Winchester Model 94 rifle.
Supervisor Howard Phillips said the firearms won’t end up on the street because they would become available only to people with proper licenses. Resident Les Lutz disagrees. He said the town should first try to sell the weapons to the former village officers who carried them. If they don’t want them, he said, “The town should destroy them so they don’t get in wrong hands.” Haverstraw town police took over policing of the village in January 2006, as the village force was disbanded. Some officials, including President Bush, questioned the effectiveness of gun buyback programs. In 2001, Bush ended the $15 million gun buyback program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, declaring that it was limited in its effectiveness. The program was started in 1999 by the Clinton administration, which claimed that it removed more than 20,000 guns from the streets in 1999 and 2000.