The idea behind gun buy back programs is to get guns off the streets and out of homes where they really don't belong. Anyone who is ready to sell their gun to a buy back program really didn't need or want the gun in the first place. This simply gets the guns out of those hands. It's those hands that seem to cause the problems.
Gun buyback programs provide an opportunity for gun owners that realize they don't need them to get rid of them, which is a good practice. Coupled with it being an optional program so the gun nuts don't lose their minds screaming about the second amendment endlessly and you have a method of getting some firearms off the streets that hurts nobody.
Gun buyback programs are beneficial, especially to the local communities that implement such programs. The idea is that we are left with less guns on the street. This means that guns are less likely to be stolen and used in crimes and that they are less likely to be less unlocked and used in an accident. These programs will not solve all gun crimes or all problems, but they are somewhat beneficial.
When a gun buyback program with no questions asked is initiated, there are two types of guns sold to them. The first is the ole rust rod that may not even work, the other is the high powered hi capacity one that was probably stole by someone who figures he/she could make a quick buck by stealing it from someone and unloading it at one of these events. They are not the ones causing the crime. Now if the buyback wants to pay what the Military contractor would get for one, I would be first in line. Take down the serial numbers, and send me a check when it is revealed it was not stolen. Until then these programs do no one any good.
Gun buyback programs are mainly political events... And I'd liken them to "book-burning" and "poll taxes". People in the US have an individual right to have a gun. Guns are not bad. No gun ever committed any crime. People commit crimes, do bad things, with guns. Sometimes people do good things with guns, stopping criminals.
Who is selling what guns are buybacks? Gangbangers suddenly giving up "the life", selling the "heater" and taking a real job down to McDonalds or Wal-Mart?
No... It's old people and others, selling junk guns, stolen guns, guns used in homicides, and not a thing is even being looked at. Murderer wants rid of a gun used to kill someone? Sell it to the buy back program... They'll destroy it! And they don't ask any questions! And they don't ascertain that you even OWN the gun before they buy it...
Smart... Real smart.
Any gun "on the street" is worth far more to a criminal than the $50 offered to buy it back. The only guns sold back are ones that have been in the back of someone's closet for years. The surrendering of these guns does nothing to reduce crime. However, it is an effective tool to waste taxpayer money, and make politicians feel good.
If you are a criminal and need to unload your gun so that you don't get caught with the evidence they they are beneficial. If you have some stolen guns that you want to get some quick cash for they are beneficial. If you have an old gun that is rusted and dangerous to actually use then they are beneficial. But if you think that gun buybacks are going to lower crime they are not beneficial. If fact they probably increase the desire for gun thefts because now you are creating a market for stolen guns.
The problem, I see with gun buyback programs is that they are not really thwarting crime, even if this means fewer incidents of accidental shootings, at home, by children. Most gun owners already have the common sense to lock up their guns. What the gun buyback program is doing with their no questions asked policy is making guns a valued commodity. This sends the wrong message to the public. Accepting firearms with a no questions asked policy, may bring in more of them, but at whose expense? Putting a monetary value on guns might be an incentive for people to steal them. These thefts could result in personal injury and homicide. Also, they are neither a cost-effective measure of taking guns off our streets, nor a preventative factor in future crime prevention. Another problem with gun buyback programs is that they could hinder criminal investigations. Gun buyback programs are not cost-effective, sends the wrong message, encourages unscrupulous people to steal, doesn't really keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and could hinder future criminal investigations.