Chicago Unveils New Gun Buyback Program

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
man in a gun storeman in a gun store

Chicago gun owners can now earn $100 from the city when they turn in their firearms.

Under a new program announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, churches and neighborhood community organizations in conjunction with police will be able to run buyback events, paid for by the Chicago Police Department's community policing program.

Participants, who can turn in their guns anonymously, will receive a $100 cash card in exchange. Emanuel has set aside $250,000 for the program, which could buyback 2,500 guns, Yahoo News reported.

"We're going to try everything we can to bring a level of security and safety throughout the city of Chicago so that our families and our children have the opportunity to grow up free from violence," Emanuel said, according to CBS Chicago.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy explained that the program can help get guns off the streets, even if gang members don't turn in the firearms themselves.

“We get the parents and grandparents, we get the older brothers turning in the guns, so they’re actually taking the guns away from the kids who would be using them and giving them to us and in that case, you just can’t deny taking an assault rifle away from a gang banger is a good idea,” McCarthy said. “Research can say whatever it wants, I can show you the examples.”

Richard Pearson, of the Illinois State Rifle Association, also voiced his support for the program. "Many of the firearms that they take in are often used in crimes and so, that's a great place to dump firearms,” he told ABC 7 Chicago.

Sources: Yahoo News, CBS Chicago, ABC 7 Chicago Image via Pål Joakim Olsen/Flickr