Geraldo Rivera is a big fan of national gun registration and bans on firearms used for self-defense. But the potential (Republican?!) candidate for U.S. Senate has decided that lawmakers in D.C. will never get on board with his left-wing gun-grabbing schemes, so he’s come up with another solution to get firearms out of the hands of criminals: gun buybacks.

“Presto”? Not really. Note to Geraldo: Criminals just aren’t that into gun buybacks.

Gun buybacks are impotent feel-goodery. They produce photo ops for politicians who want to prove they’re “doing something” about gun violence, but research indicates that buybacks appeal more to people with old guns in their attics than actual criminals.

Researchers who have evaluated gun control strategies say buybacks – despite their popularity – are among the least effective ways to reduce gun violence.

. . .

The relatively small number of guns recovered isn’t the only problem, Scott said. Buyback programs tend to attract people who are least likely to commit crimes and to retrieve guns that are least likely to be used in crimes.

Scott and others say violent criminals – the people who do most of the shooting and killing – steer clear of buyback programs unless they’re trying to make some quick cash by selling a weapon they don’t want anymore.

As Mary Katharine Ham notes, these expensive and ineffective programs “do about as much to reduce gun violence as, well, gun control does in Chicago.”

Anyone surprised that Geraldo is a fan of publicity stunts? Yeah, didn’t think so.