In one of the most ridiculous examples of hubris and waist by a local government in recent memory, the Honolulu police department will be destroying $575,000 worth of handguns paid for by taxpayers because they “don’t want the weapons on the street.”
Derided as the “height of anti-gun stupidity” by Second Amendment supporters, the department will be demolishing around 2,300 Smith & Wesson 9 mm handguns, including at least 200 that are brand-new and still in the box.
The decision came earlier this month after the 2,200-member department decided to upgrade to Glock 17s because the firearms are “lighter and less expensive.” – Apparently police officials don’t understand that if they want to save money they need to not spend it when they have 2,300 perfectly good weapons available.
Or they could do the sensible thing and actually sell the firearms to recoup some of the hard earned tax-dollars used to pay for their new toys or their old ones respectively.
Traditionally, that’s what police departments do when they upgrade firearms – auction them off to the law-abiding public – but in the midst of the anti-gun hysteria following recent high-profile shootings coupled with rising anti-police sentiment, Honolulu cops are sending the message that if they aren’t using the weapons, no one can.
“Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu Police Department agreed that they would not allow the guns to be sold to the general public and end up on the streets of Honolulu,” Honolulu Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Monday. “The same goes for selling the individual gun parts that could have been used to assemble a gun.”
Can you imagine? The hubris of these people to think its acceptable to just destroy 2,200 guns that could have netted the city $575,000 – just to keep them out of the hands of the serfs.
“There is no reason why these firearms couldn’t be used by law enforcement or sold to law-abiding citizens,” National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action spokesperson Amy Hunter said. “The proceeds of which could go to much-needed infrastructure, programs, training, etc.”
In a letter to Mayor Caldwell, Hawaii Rifle Association President Harvey Gerwig and Lessons in Firearms Education President Bill Richter wrote:
In these times of lean budgets and continual cost cutting to needed city services, to throw away a half a million dollars seems senseless. The reason your office and HPD gave for not selling to the public seemed to be a slight on those legal gun owners who would have purchased them and who supported you during your election. You should be ashamed for suggesting that the good citizens of Hawaii cannot be trusted with buying HPD’s surplus guns for fear of them falling into criminal hands when record numbers of firearms have been bought by those same citizens for the last ten years without any such problems.
Over the last couple of decades, legal gun-ownership in Hawaii has skyrocketed resulting in one of the lowest gun death rates in the nation.
According to the state Attorney General’s Office, 420,409 firearms were registered in Hawaii from 2000 to 2014. Adding that to the already one million legal firearms in the state – and with a population of 1.4 million people – statistically, there exists one legal gun for every man, woman and child in the state.
This means police rationalizations for the destruction are ludicrous.
Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb called destroying the firearms “the height of anti-gun stupidity [that] will not stop one criminal from getting a weapon.”
“These guns in the hands of lawful civilians could provide an important means of self-defense, especially for low income people who can’t afford them,” Gottlieb said. “Or the sale of them could help pay for much needed law enforcement equipment to help keep the public safe.”