In regard to the question posed by the Sept. 23 front-page article titled “In gun buyback talk, how do you round up so many weapons?” the answer is simple. Use existing ATF statutes and define semiautomatic guns as “contraband.” (26 U.S.C., Chapter 53; 27 CFR Section 72.11)

Under existing law, the current regulated weapons, e.g., machine guns, grenades, etc. and appurtenants (such as magazine, silencers, bump stocks, etc.) that clearly facilitate a large number of deaths in seconds can be legislatively defined as illegal to own, use, possess, carry, touch, transport, sell, buy or conspire to do so.

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from taking property without fair compensation. A list of newly classified contraband can be formulated and fair value assigned to each item.

Each owner will be given a reasonable time (say six months) to surrender the item to the U.S. federal authorities (ATF) and be paid as listed. If an owner believes the listed value is unfair, he/she can surrender the item and appeal to a federal or state magistrate and litigate (non-jury) the contested value.

The existing federal law provides that a jury can be denied for minor cases.

The tons of surrendered contraband can be crushed and sold as scrap metal or put on an obsolete Navy vessel scheduled to be scrapped, loaded with the crushed scrap metal and sunk.

Licensed collectors can be excepted. The criteria for obtaining such a license is very exhaustive — for good reason.

The net cost of the program will be infinitely cheaper than the present cost of law enforcement, hospital, long-term disability, security systems, courts, jail, etc.

FYI, I am an honorably discharged former Air Force captain (1964-1970). My issued shoulder weapon was a fully automatic M-2 carbine and revolver (now a 9 mm semiautomatic).

I own shotguns, bolt and lever action, .30-caliber hunting rifles, revolvers and my father’s 1911 World War II .45-caliber pistol.

My question is: If this solution could save the life of one 5-year-old child, would you voluntarily comply? Ten children? Thirty children? How many children’s lives are enough for you to subordinate your Second Amendment “right” to have a military weapon that has no purpose other than to kill people?

This proposal does not restrict your right to have other sport and self/family protection weapons in your home or for recreational use.

To those who argue that armed insurrection against the government is a constitutional right, their pop guns cannot begin to defeat the United States’ military forces. Think Branch Davidians.

The solution? Force your elected representative to commit to remove these weapons from the hands of potential child killers or vote them out of office.

RICHARD H. KELSEY is a resident of Denton.

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