Seeing an article about the latest gun buyback…

Seeing an article about the latest gun buyback program being instituted in an urban metropolis where guns practically illegal, I realized that economics tells us why these programs aren’t successful: the price is too low.

A criminal whose livelihood depends on his gun can’t replace that livelihood with two hundred bucks. When you offer to pay a certain amount for something, the people who will sell to you at that price are those whose utility for that good is less than what you’re offering. And unless you offer the fair market value of a functioning handgun ($400+ retail, more on the black market), you’ll get two classes of results: old broken junk (value: zero dollars) and guns that people don’t want around anymore for whatever reason (value: negative dollars).

It’s all about utility.

Edit: also, the term “buyback” implies the guns belonged to the government originally. They really should call them “buyouts.”