Honolulu officials have decided to destroy $575,000-worth of perfectly good police pistols in a move one critic called the “height of anti-gun stupidity.” Some 2,300 Smith and Wesson 9mm handguns, including at least some 200 that are in unopened boxes, were given to the police department. But with the 2,200-member police force upgrading to lighter and less expensive Glock 17-s, the guns were set to be permanently holstered.
While it is customary in the country for departments to auction the guns to law-abiding citizens, including the officers who carried them, or donate them to another department, Honolulu destroyed them. “The Honolulu Police Department along with mayor Kirk Caldwell agreed that they would not allow the guns to be sold to the general population and end up on the streets of Honolulu,” Michelle Yu, a spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police told FoxNews.com. “The same goes for selling the individual gun parts that could have been used to assemble a gun.”
Yu also said that no other police departments were interested in the guns. ”Law enforcement in American Samoa initially expressed interest in acquiring some of the guns, but there was a change of administration and the new administration is not interested.”
Hawaii News Now claims that by selling the guns (with mandatory background checks to ensure they were only bought by legal owners), could have netted the city $575,000.
Several police officers were reportedly interested in buying their guns back for personal use. A representative for Smith and Wesson declined to comment. Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation said: “Destroying working firearms was the height of anti-gun stupidity and will not stop one criminal from getting a weapon.” “Any city the size of Honolulu could use $575,000,” said Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Institute of Legislative Action of the National Rifle Association.
“It beats putting them back on the streets,” said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “There are so many loopholes in federal law that dangerous people often get guns legally in this country. There’s a reason that Hawaii has the lowest gun death rate in the country,” he said. “They’d rather see guns destroyed than families.”