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The Guns Were Thought to Be Destroyed, But Instead They Were Reborn.

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Flint, Michigan recently announced a gun buyback, and, according to city policy, the guns collected in the buyback were to be destined for the incinerator, rather than being sold. However, it has come to light that the firearms were actually collected by a private company which destroyed a single firearm part with the serial number, before selling the remaining parts as complete gun kits. This practice has been reported by the New York Times, and is part of a growing industry which offers to destroy guns used in crimes. However, this in turn actually fuels a second-hand arms market. Hundreds of towns and cities participate in buyback and disposal programs, which are only indirectly responsible for the firearm parts being made available to civilians. These parts can be purchased online for reassembly into completed firearms. Gun disposal companies provide their services for free to police departments, instead profiting from the sale of the remaining parts. While this recycling practice has been largely concealed, and its potential implications poorly understood. With ghost guns, made from untraceable, unserialized parts, making their way onto the scene, concerns regarding the spread of such elusive firearms are being voiced by gun safety groups. Critics of the recycling practice consider it to be a loophole in regulations. But despite its controversial nature, officials in both red states and blue states, have engaged in the participation of such practices.
This industry’s existence is based largely on the fact that a gun can be considered destroyed under federal law if just one regulated part is destroyed. While some government officials may not have known the full extent of the process, due to the marginalisation of information about the sales of parts in contracts, almost all of them have chosen to remain silent on the controversial practice. Officials are left to contend with the implications of their unwitting involvement in the arms trade. There are reports of a number of cities and states having surrendered their guns to companies like Gunbusters without knowledge or intention. The implications and repercussions of this developing story are now a subject of national debate. It is evident that the disposal industry has become a significant player in America’s gun economy, it can only be anticipated that this issue will only grow in importance.

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Photo credit www.nytimes.com

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