Today, in response to the recent murder of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut with a semi-automatic assault weapon, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) pressed for a federal buyback program to take any assault weapons and high capacity clips which may be grandfathered in as part of future gun control legislation off of the streets and prevent future massacres. Nadler suggested a voluntary buyback program to remove these assault weapons, as well as high-capacity magazines and feeding devices, from circulation without legal penalty to owners. He emphasized that this should be a part of gun control legislation soon to be introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
"The terrible tragedy of Newtown has hit our nation profoundly and launched genuine soul-searching about the presence of guns in our society," said Nadler. "As we conduct a critical national debate on causes and prevention, there can be no doubt that assault weapons are not a necessary part of any consumer arsenal. Assault weapons have become nothing more than horrific killing machines allowing deranged individuals to inflict the maximum amount of carnage quickly, and with a minimum of personal contact. There is no legitimate purpose -- none -- for these instruments of violence outside of the military. A national buyback program would help remove the current stock from circulation and should be part of any effort to reduce gun violence."
Assault weapons have been used for many of the mass murders occurring in the United States. A gun buyback program was successfully used in Australia, removing 650,000 dangerous guns from the streets. This has entirely eliminated mass killings in Australia in the 14 years since the program was implemented, and reduced deaths by firearms overall. Smaller scale buyback programs have also been used throughout the U.S.