Improving the Potential Effectiveness of Gun Buyback Programs

      Since the tragic mass shooting in Newtown CT, dozens of cities and towns throughout the U.S. have implemented gun buyback programs to remove guns from their communities. Gun buybacks involve a government or private group paying individuals to turn in guns they possess. Participants turning in guns are paid via cash disbursements, gift cards, or some other compensation. To encourage participation by criminals, these programs do not require participants to identify themselves and do not maintain any records of the individuals who turned in firearms. The recovered guns are then destroyed. For instance, at the end of July 2013, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and several local police departments oversaw the destruction of some 5495 firearms recovered from recent buybacks in several jurisdictions including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Inglewood, and Culver City.

      Mather K. 5,000 guns from buyback events melted into rebar, officials say. Los Angeles Times 2013; July 30;,0,5899404.story

      The participating agencies claimed record numbers of gun recoveries in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
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