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Reality Check: Do Gun Buy-Back Programs Actually Work?

By Robin Pugh-Perry, Mhs

Gun buy-back programs have been popular in urban areas as a way to reduce gun violence since the 1990’s.  Back in September 2011, over 850 guns were taken off the streets between Staten Island, NY and Cleveland, OH with the majority of 700+ coming out of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs. There were no questions asked. The folks in Staten Island received $200 for a working handgun and $20 for a shotgun or rifle. In Cleveland, folks were given $100 gift cards to Wal-Mart or other retail stores.

More recently in Cincinnati, OH, a coalition of ministries and neighborhood groups in the West Price Hill section sponsored an anti-violence gun buy-back initiative over the 2012 Martin Luther Day holiday weekend. The organizers of the event collected 50 different types of operable guns in exchange for $100 gift cards, again Wal-Mart or other popular retail stores. Event organizers had to turn people away because they ran out of gift cards.

Over the last two decades, law enforcement and community organizers have defended such events and thousands of guns have been taken off the streets. But gun violence, though not as prevalent as it once was back in the 90s, still continues. So the question is, do gun buy-back programs really work?

A Fox19 viewer from the Cincinnati area contacted Fox19 to request a reality check.


(Video) Reality Check: Do Gun Buy-Back Programs Actually Work?


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