Letter: Gun take-back by police a 'missed opportunity'

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Regarding your article “Police say firearms collection hits target market” in the Feb. 28 issue, the gun donation program described in the article that was supervised by the Maine State Police represents a missed opportunity to utilize existing resources at no cost to the citizens of Maine.

Several years ago, the Office of the U.S Attorney for the District of Maine created a Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force that includes “an extensive community outreach campaign aimed at educating Maine citizens about federal gun laws.” (http://www.justice.gov/usao/me/programs-psn.html). Federal firearms licensees were contacted a few years ago to participate in the Maine Resolve to Provide Assistance to Private Sellers of Firearms. There are approximately 33 FFL dealers that agreed to provide background checks for private gun sales that are currently on this public list. It appears that this collection program was created by Project Safe Neighborhood.

Why did police in four communities, along with the Maine State Police, at taxpayers’ expense, create and administer the recent program, which only resulted in 30 guns being collected? Why were the collected firearms resold to Howell’s Gun & Archery Center, an FFL that is not even on the PSN list of participating FFL’s? Why weren’t FFL holders in Maine given the opportunity to purchase these guns, which would have benefited both the sellers and the buyers and Maine’s economy?

Cindy Kimball
Real Guns Inc.