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Sacramento Wants You to Turn In Your Gun for a $50 Gas Card


Garen Wintemute
UC Davis’s Dr. Garen Wintemute (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

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“Sacramento police want your guns in exchange for gas money,” says a May 6 Sacramento Bee headline. The department asks residents to give away their firearms, which the Second Amendment authorizes them to keep and bear, for a $50 gas gift card that would not even provide a fill-up for many vehicles. 

The department claims it will not ask any questions or demand identification, but it is unlikely that any criminals will be handing over firearms. Criminals do not follow gun laws, and criminals, not guns, commit crimes. 

“Research has shown that past gun exchanges have helped reduce the risk of gun violence among some,” the Bee claims, “according to a 1993 study done in Sacramento.” That might strike readers as a bit vague. In California, the report says, “about every 1 in 4 adults live in a gun-owning home, according to research from UC Davis.” 

That is a possible reference to the UC Davis Firearms Violence Research Center, lavishly funded by the state government but not, strictly speaking, an organ of UC Davis. The Center’s first project was a survey of “who owns guns, why they own them and how they use firearms.” The Center wants “the names,” and Californians should find that troubling.

— K. Lloyd Billingsley in Gas, Guns, and Government Lunacy – Oped

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