So-called “gun buyback programs” are somewhat controversial. While communities use them to try to get guns off the streets, there’s very little evidence that they actually help reduce crime… and sometimes, they can lead to the destruction of some truly significant pieces of history.
That’s nearly what happened several years ago in Connecticut. A woman who isn’t an expert on firearms tried to get rid of a World War II relic that is worth over $30,000.
“The chance to see a piece of history… is unbelievable,” Officer Lewis Crabtree of the Hartford Police explained.
That gun was none other than a German “Sturmgewehr” StG 44, a true select-fire assault rifle that was used toward the end of the war.
“Usually this rifle would be issued to SS troops,” stated Officer John Cavanna. “In excellent condition, the NRA rates this gun between $30,000 and $40,000.”
Like many “war trophies” from that era, this rifle most likely came directly from a German soldier who was killed in action.
“You could kill a soldier back then, and if the captain of your fighting unit signed off on it, you could send that gun home to your family,” Officer Cavanna elaborated.
“Her father, who was a World War II Army man, had brought this gun home from the European theater,” he explained.
Well-known modern rifles including the AR-15, M-16, and AK-47 can all trace parts of their lineage to the StG 44 and similar innovations of the time.
“This is a gun that actually should be in a museum,” said Officer Crabtree.
Even though the select-fire rifle was turned in for destruction and most likely illegal under the National Firearms Act for somebody without a Class III license to own, the police considered it a “grandfathered” item — literally — and helped the woman sell the StG to a collector who could appreciate it.
On the one hand, it’s great that this amazing piece of military history was noticed and saved before it was destroyed.
With that said, this incident also illustrates the futility of buyback programs. Notice who decided to turn in a firearm: A lady who was so disconnected from crime that she didn’t even realize there was an automatic-capable German assault rifle in her possession.
That’s who are almost always impacted by these programs: Law-abiding citizens who were never the problem.
Criminals who use their weapons to commit crime don’t turn in their guns, and it’s silly to think that they would.
There’s no telling how many other museum-quality relics have been tossed out or destroyed by these buyback programs, but at least in this case, an important slice of the past was preserved.
Like us on Facebook – USA Liberty News
Please press “Share on Facebook” if you found this story interesting!
What would you do if this gun was in your collection? Scroll down to comment below!