White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced this morning that President Obama will be launching a campaign similar to gun-buyback events of the past. The program, named ‘Gas For Guns,’ offers gun owners the opportunity to exchange their weapons, with or without legal documentation, for a $500 gas card.
“A date has not been set but it will more than likely take place in early January, just after the holidays, when American families need a little more assistance with living expenses than normal. The event will last two weeks. It will be a really good avenue to help those in need while at the same time getting dangerous weapons off the streets,” said Earnest.
The exchange program, part of a master plan by President Obama to get rid of guns in the U.S., will give gun owners the opportunity to go to local police stations, firehouses, and in some cities “mobile exchange units” to bring in their weapons. Volunteer gun experts will be on-hand to appraise the firearms, although the gas cards will be valued at $500 regardless of make, model, style, or appraised value of the firearm. Even guns without proper documentation can be turned in.
“No questions will be asked, but we ask those that do have legal documentation to please bring it with your firearm. Those that do not will only be asked for their drivers licenses’ or state identification cards, which will then be copied. This process is simply for keeping track of the gift cards that are exchanged. The participant will then be given the $500 gas gift card, regardless of the appraised value, to be used at a local participating gas company. What is important is that we get guns off the streets and help those in need at the same time,” Earnest announced.
Guns which are handed over will be taken to a licensed gun manufacturing facility, which will be paid an undisclosed amount by the government per weapon, and will be disassembled and discarded accordingly under ATF supervision while being fully monitored. Officials have said that many of the weapons, especially those with little to no value or that are in non-working order, will be melted down for their metals.
As gun control is a very controversial issue, announcement of the program has divided opposition even further. Gun advocate and Washington D.C. native Tom Gillispie told reporters after catching wind of the announcement, “This is absolutely ridiculous, they want just anybody to walk , pull out a gun, then trade it in for a $500 gas card? No matter if the gun is worth $50 or not? So a criminal with bad intentions can bring in a gun worth $100, get a $500 gas card, then trade the gas card for $450 cash then go buy an even more dangerous gun? This is the asinine apocalypse. This is exactly why our country is in a downward spiral. We will go further into debt and the bad guys will still have guns in the end, while those needing guns for protection will not. This is absurd. It is times like this I am embarrassed to be an American.”
Tourist Mary Carcepizzi, from Trenton, New Jersey had quite a different take on the matter. “I think it is an excellent idea. That $500 may save a life in the future, and I am absolutely positive that will be the case for several of the guns turned in. They will be destroyed, as all guns should be, and for each one destroyed, that is one less unnecessary weapon we will have to worry about falling into the wrong hands. Obama is making the right call and I stand behind the program 100%.”
The official starting date and a list of participating gas companies and other details will be announced in late December.