The next time you hear of a liberal city complain about a lack of funds to police the town adequately, please remember this story:
The City of Honolulu, the capital of the notoriously-liberal state of Hawaii, were issued Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns for their police department. Though the Smiths are fine weapons, the police department, instead, opted to adopt the Glock 17, a less-expensive 9mm with an unsurpassed reputation for reliability (I expect a deluge of comments from 1911 fans now).
Though police departments often auction-off service weapons or otherwise sell them to law-abiding citizens or even gift them to other departments, the city of Honolulu decided to go a different way:
They decided to destroy roughly $575,000 worth of perfectly-legal firearms.
To show just how committed they are to anti-gun hysteria, city officials took a ludicrous stand and melted-down 2,300 handguns- hundreds of which were brand new and still in the box- and even patted themselves on the back for doing so.
“Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu Police Department agreed that they would not allow the guns to be sold to the general public and end up on the streets of Honolulu,” Honolulu Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu stated. “The same goes for selling the individual gun parts that could have been used to assemble a gun.”
Yu explained that allegedly, no other police departments were interested in a donation of a half-million dollars in firearms.
Honolulu police officers offered to purchase some of the firearms but they, too, were deemed unfit for the privilege of owning personal firearms that they get paid to handle. Honolulu police declined to sell any of the weapons to local police officers and instead opted to melt them down at a tremendous waste to taxpayer money.
Though Yu claims that no other police stations wanted the firearms, the Hawaii State Sheriffs Division claims that they never received an offer for a donation.
Recently, Hawaii’s Department of Public of Safety replaced its Smith & Wesson firearms with SIG Sauers and as a result, received a credit of more than $150,000 for the trade-ins.
Yu claims that Honolulu would not receive trade-in value for their firearms and Smith & Wesson has declined to comment, noting that they do not comment about their customers.
Yu claimed, “The only remaining option was to destroy the guns so they don’t end up on the street.”
However, that is not strictly correct. While Yu may pretend that the options before city officials were to simply melt them down or otherwise dump them into a ghetto, there exists many other options: aside from donating them or receiving trade-in credit, Honolulu could have auctioned them off or sold them to law-abiding citizens who would have undergone the background checks the anti-Second Amendment crowd loves so much.
The Hawaii Rifle Association’s President Harvey Gerwig joined with non-profit Lessons in Firearms Education President Bill Richter in a letter to Mayor Caldwell and wrote that “in these times of lean budgets and continual cost cutting to needed city services, to throw away a half a million dollars seems senseless.”
“The reason your office and HPD gave for not selling to the public seemed to be a slight on those legal gun owners who would have purchased them and who supported you during your election,” the letter continued. “You should be ashamed for suggesting that the good citizens of Hawaii cannot be trusted with buying HPD’s surplus guns for fear of them falling into criminal hands when record numbers of firearms have been bought by those same citizens for the last ten years without any such problems.”
The actions by Honolulu are offensive for so many reasons. It’s incredible to witness this level of government waste. It’s shameful to see the lack of shame these officials appear to feel as they defend wasting $575,000 of taxpayer dollars to further a preposterous and divisive agenda.
Perhaps most galling of all, however, is the fact that city officials appear to feel that they cannot trust law-abiding citizens to have firearms that are literally being thrown-away and even worse, they offer the flimsiest and demonstrably untruthful explanations as a means of defending their unbelievable actions.
Since Honolulu is so flush with cash, perhaps taxpayers should turn-off the tap and drastically cut city revenue. When you can burn half-a-million dollars to make a political point, it seems clear that they need no more money for a long while.