Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said that she and other gun control advocates are considering a law that would create a program to purchase weapons from gun owners, a proposal that could be compulsory.
“We are also looking at a buy-back program,” Feinstein said today in a press conference. “Now, again, this is a work in progress so these are ideas in the development.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., already discussed the possibility of a buy-back law for his state, but he made clear it would be a forced buyback.
“Confiscation could be an option,” Cuomo told The New York Times yesterday when discussing semiautomatic weapons. “Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
Australia implemented a mandatory buyback program in 1996 following a mass shooting. “The law banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns and put in place a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons,” USA Today recalls. “The buyback led to the destruction of 650,000 gun.”
Some liberal activists want the policy imitated here. “That would be like destroying 50 million guns in America today,” the Center for American Progress’ Matt Miller wrote after noting that Australia eliminated 20 percent of the weapons in the country. “The Australian ‘outlaw and repurchase’ option is one approach. But if Congress balks at banning certain weapons entirely, it could make gun owners an offer they can’t refuse. Instead of $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500.”
Feinstein also said that that former President Bill Clinton had volunteered, on a phone call, to help her get a new gun law passed.
“[Clinton] was talking about the battle back in 1993 with the bill that, interestingly enough, was introduced and passed within the year fo 1993 and went into effect in 1994,” she said. “And, of course, he was president and the White House came alive and was very very helpful in enabling the passage of that bill both in the senate and in the House. So, to have him part of the team again is really quote special for us.”