Texas Police To Take 700 Guns Away From Citizens
Deep in the heart of Texas, where there are more firearms in homes than people, Dallas County will start taking guns away from a specific group of individuals as early as this week. As an avid supporter of American’s right the bear arms, I also support the county’s move to do this, but the method has me a bit puzzled.
Dallas County will be the first in the nation to collect weapons from domestic violence offenders as a preventative measure to keep victims safe. Statistics prove that women are 500 times more likely to lose their life in an argument with a violent offender if there is a gun in the home. But before anyone gets up in arms about government overreach into someone’s armory, understand that there are no rights being taken away here. The way it works does not mean officials are knocking down offender’s doors, raiding homes, and seizing what’s not theirs. In fact, the rule operates on an honor system with criminals.
According to WFAA, this rule is not new, but the execution of it is. Federal and state law forbids anyone with a domestic violence conviction or an emergency protective order against them from possessing firearms, but until now, Dallas didn’t have a way to collect and store relinquished guns.
County Criminal Court Judge Roberto Cañas, who is one of two judges who handle misdemeanor domestic violence cases, devised a plan called “Firearm Surrender Project,” in collaboration with a local Dallas Fort Worth area gun range, where criminals can go and safely surrender and store their guns until they are legally able to have them back.
Although officials expect to collect around 700 guns each year under this plan, that’s giving criminals far too much credit in assuming they are going to be honest about what weaponry they have at home.
More than it being an ineffective project, considering it relies on the unreliable word of a criminal, it’s going to cost taxpayers in the area a lot of money. Cañas’ collection idea includes having a deputy on staff at the private gun rage to run the operation of signing in and out offenders’ firearms.
Taxes will be used to cover that salary, along with start-up costs to get the project rolling. So far, $37,000 has already been dumped into this, through a grant given to the country from the governor’s office. Cañas and crew will need double that amount over the next year to keep the project going.
The way the rule works is that offenders are simply asked at conviction if they have a gun. IF they are honest and admit they do, they are ordered to surrender that gun at the range and get it signed off that they did. They are also given the option to give it to a third-party instead, to someone who is legally able to own a gun. That looks a lot like, “Here friend, take my gun, say I gave it to you, then give it back.”
“There’s no doubt that the intersection of firearms and domestic violence is a very lethal one,” Cañas said. “If we can take a step that will even prevent one homicide, this project will be worth it.”
Criminals can’t buy guns if they’re convicted of violent crimes and they shouldn’t be able to keep guns they have after conviction if they are a proven threat to people’s lives. But the fact is, felons will always have firearms because they don’t buy them through legal means, and they aren’t going to be honest in giving them up.
For this reason alone, everyone needs to own firearms to defend themselves against the unknown. It’s the bad guy with a gun that gives the good guys with guns a bad rap with gun-grabbers. Effort and money would be better spent in empowering women to know how to use a firearm and prevent themselves from becoming a victim in the first place, or again if they already are one.