From Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler:
In a writing shared by the DaggerPress yesterday, Mr. Chris Boardman made the effort to publicly challenge me, as Harford County’s chief law enforcement officer, to conduct a gun buyback that will “probably” reduce “gun violence” (DaggerPress – Boardman: “If Sheriff Gahler Wants to Do Something that Will Probably Help Reduce Gun Violence, He Should Sponsor some Countywide Gun Buy-Backs” – March 10, 2016). Mr. Boardman decided not to contact me first and discuss his concept, one-on-one, and instead preferred to have this discussion in a public forum. I will entertain his wishes and share my thoughts on his idea in a like manner.
To be clear, in more than 30 years of police work, I have never seen one piece of compelling information that would cause me to believe gun buyback programs do anything to promote public safety. Since he is an experienced writer, Mr. Boardman’s use of the word “probably” is telling as he too obviously suspects such efforts to be ineffective.
Mr. Boardman is quick to suggest how I might want to spend other people’s money since funds for a buyback must come from somewhere. In an effort to be open-minded, if Mr. Boardman is truly committed to his desire to see a gun buyback program and is willing to personally fund the effort, I will promote the event and help him give his money away. I was thinking something like $500 per firearm out of his pocket? I will, of course, not spend any taxpayer money on such an endeavor, not now or in the future.
Should any member of the public ever wish to get rid of a firearm and make the decision that they would prefer it to be destroyed rather than transferred, the Sheriff’s Office can assist with this service and will do so at no cost.
Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler