New York Attorney General Letitia James‘ taxpayer-funded so-called gun buyback event last month was made a mockery of when a self-described “punk kid” earned $21,000 for printed-off gun parts.
A man who wishes to only be identified as “Kem” has boasted about using his $200 3D printer to make dozens of lower receivers and frames so he could cash-in on James’ buyback, eventually landing him 42 $500 gift cards from the Democrat — or, rather, New York taxpayers.
“And it ended with the guy and a lady from the budget office finally coming around with the 42 gift cards and counting them in front of me,” Kem recalled to NEWSChannel 2. “$21,000 in $500 gift cards.”
The man said he printed off enough parts for 110 firearms and then drove six hours to Utica to participate in the program, which Kem has ridiculed as noneffective.
“He sees the tote and says, ‘how many firearms do you have?’ And I said, ‘110,’” the man explained. After a back and forth with the AG’s office, Kem received the $21,000.
“Getting guns off the streets and out of our communities is one of the many ways my office is working to protect New York families and combat rising crime rates,” James bragged about the gun buyback in a statement issued September 17.
“By working closely with our partners in the Camillus Police Department, we were able to organize this successful event and remove 172 guns from the local community,” she said. “I will keep working to protect New Yorkers from gun violence and ensure that our state is a great place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.”
Kem ruthlessly mocked the braggadocious AG.
“I’m sure handing over $21,000 in gift cards to some punk kid after getting a bunch of plastic junk was a rousing success,” he told NEWSChannel 2.
“Gun buybacks are a fantastic way of showing, number one, that your policies don’t work, and, number 2, you’re creating perverse demand,” he continued. “You’re causing people to show up to these events, and, they don’t actually reduce crime whatsoever.”
Gun buyback programs have been criticized by opponents as publicity stunts, and studies have found “no evidence” to show that the programs reduce crime at all.
James’ office was not pleased with being publicly worked over by Kem, though the office seemingly knew about the 3D printed guns at the time of the AG’s boastful statement.
“It’s shameful that this individual exploited a program that has successfully taken thousands of guns off the streets to protect our communities from gun violence,” a spokesperson for the office said.
“We have partnered with local police throughout the state to recover more than 3,500 guns, and one individual’s greedy behavior won’t tarnish our work to promote public safety,” the spokesperson added. “We have adjusted our policies to ensure that no one can exploit this program again for personal gain.”
Kem is apparently not the first person to exploit the dubious program. Someone reportedly made $3,000 in August from printed-off gun parts turned over at a gun buyback in Houston, Texas, according to Vice. And rumors of accounts of others similarly cashing-in often go viral online.
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