Senate approves measure banning gun buy-backs

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS(WISH/AP) – The Indiana Senate has approved a measure banning gun buy-back programs.

The measure would ban local governments and police departments from conducting the buy-backs. Republican Sen. Jim Tomes said he proposed the ban because guns that would be bought through the programs and sold for scrap could be sold intact for much more money on the open market.

“It just doesn’t make sense to settle for scrap metal prices when you can receive a great deal more money for your agency – which most if not all of them are severely under-budgeted,” said Tomes. “If people still want to turn in firearms, they can do that. The only difference is those agencies would be required to sell those – as current law does allow on a periodic basis – in the form of auctions.”

Firearms with an obliterated serial number could still be destroyed.

But some opponents of the ban say the state is taking away local control on the issue.

Sen. Lonnie Randolph voted against the measure. He represents Lake County and said agencies there have held successful gun buyback programs for years.

“It’s been very successful in terms of getting guns off the street,” said Randolph. “Crime is a problem in certain areas and the focal point there is to try to minimize – you can’t eliminate it completely – but to minimize the crime rate.”

The Senate voted 28-21 in favor of the ban. The proposal now moves to the House.

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