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Connolly Urges $200 Million Gun Buyback Program

Forty House members sign letter backing proposed program added to any end-of-the-year fiscal cliff deal.

A letter co-written by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11th), and signed by 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, urges Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to support an immediate $200 million gun buyback program in any end-of-the-year fiscal cliff deal.

Connolly, whose district includes the national headquarters for the NRA, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida authored the letter to the House leaders. 

“Gun buybacks have proven successful in communities across the nation,” Connolly and Deutch said in a “Dear Colleague” to House members. “Adding $200 million to the final compromise on the fiscal cliff could remove as many as one million guns from our streets.” 

Including the gun buyback program as a way to reduce gun violence, the congressmen said including it in any year-end deal “is a simple, immediate step we can take to assure the public we are committed to taking meaningful action.”

Connolly and Deutch said federal financial support to help local communities and states conduct buyback programs could also bolster local economic activity. “Distributing funding to the states to run buyback programs using prepaid debit cards with a three-month expiration date could provide a jolt to local economies that have stagnated in the wake of the recession and concerns over the fiscal cliff.”

“The murder of 20 youngsters and six educators in their classrooms has galvanized the public’s desire for immediate action, and partnering with the states on a nationwide gun buyback program is a modest, common-sense start,” the two congressmen said.

It's uncertain if there is enough support on Capitol Hill for any new gun laws. Although President Obama called for Congress to show “courage” to consider new gun-control laws, he faces challenges with "members of his own party who have a history of cowering from the gun debate," the National Journal points out.

Dave Webster December 25, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Gun buyback programs have most certainly not been "proven successful in communities across the nation," if by "proven successful," Mr. Connolly means a reduction in gun-related crime. With regard to a jolt to the economy, will taking money from Citizen A under Congress' taxing power to give it to Citizen B in order to destroy some property held by Citizen B actually be an overall benefit to the economy? It doesn't seem likely. Connolly claims this program will alleviate some concerns over the fiscal cliff. He doesn't explain how throwing a wrench into the fiscal cliff negotiations at the last minute will alleviate concerns of Americans over the uncertainties regarding whether a deal can be reached.
Hank Ankle December 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Just one more feel good, do nothing proposal from the anti-freedom corps-at a cost of $200 million to the taxpayer. It should surprise no one that this country is teetering on the precipice. I, for one, have a couple of disfunctional firearms that I'd gladly accept $200 for. And if something of this sort is ever implemented in my locale, that's exactly what I intend to do, and put the money right back into more of same.

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