Gun Buyback campaigns are going on all across the country these days and are often lauded as one way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Organizers of a recent gun buyback campaign in Minneapolis are claiming success after collecting 150 guns at a cost of $25,000 however, many participants are laughing all the way to the gun store for their next purchase. Truth be told, this is the norm and many organizers don’t want you to know.
While an increase of gun violence is being reported in cities like Detroit and Chicago, Minneapolis has seen a reduction in the number of homicides although shootings are up 46%. The city hosted two gun buyback locations encouraging gun owners to turn in weapons anonymously in exchange for Visa gift cards.
CBS local TV affiliate WCCO reported that the program was a collaboration between the nonprofit Pillsbury United Communities and the City of Minneapolis. With only two locations, one on the south side of the city and the other in the gang-heavy north side, both closed early after running out of gift cards.
The buyback program is part of a campaign called “Art Is My Weapon” where the guns are decommissioned and given to local artists who create “art” showing the impact of gun violence.
One area resident, John Murphy, who lives outside the city limits in New Hope stopped by to take advantage of the free gift cards.
“I had a couple firearms in my safe that hadn’t been used in years and figured, good a place as any. It was an easy process.”
Minneapolis Police Officer Corey Schmidt adds:
“If we can get guns that people no longer want to have around their house off the streets to where they cannot be stolen from houses and used in crimes, that’s a good thing.”
Not all are convinced. One anonymous gun owner said he received a $200 gift card and plans to use it to buy a new gun commenting:
“I just don’t feel that a criminal is going to come up to a fire department with a bunch of police around it and turn in a gun.”
Gun buyback programs seem to be a big hit for liberals and city police who want the public to think they’re really doing something to combat gun violence. But the city of San Francisco was able to only collect 91 guns in one of its programs and other cities resort to crowdfunding to raise the money needed.
Do buyback programs really work? Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus chairman Bryan Strawser says no, adding “Gun buyback programs have no measurable impact on violent crime”. He continued by saying most weapons turned in aren’t the kind used in the commission of a crime. To demonstrate how ridiculous the programs are one of the guns turned in (pictured) was a homemade 12-gauge consisting of a taped up wooden “stock” and a metal pipe. Scribbled in black marker was “gun buybacks don’t work 01” representing the serial number. A Gun Owners Caucus post on Facebook was captioned with the statement:
“Just one of the ‘highly dangerous guns’ turned in today at the Minneapolis ‘buyback’ event. The owner of this homemade shotgun received a $100 gift card!”
Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal responding to the ridicule stated:
“The gun in question was turned in, our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that’s why it was accepted.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau offered this press release related to the program;
“What I like about the initiative is it is deeply personal and it brings attention and emotion to a societal issue that really affects us all. The current cycle of gun violence requires a community solution and this will be more than a conversation starter”
Attention and emotion? I suppose laughter is an emotion coming from this embarrassing event. Most of the guns turned in were defective and the money offered was more than anyone would pay if brought to a gun store. Buyback programs are a joke and never serve their purpose other than getting defective guns out of the closet for legal gun owners to cash in as a down payment funding method for something better. That’s what the majority of the participants have done in the Minnesota case.