City gun buyback: $200 a gun, no questions asked

Tina Chery of Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

Tina Chery of Louis D. Brown Peace Institute: Parents have to do their part.

City officials today announced a gun buyback plan that will trade a $200 Visa gift card for every gun turned into Boston police stations as part of an effort to curb youth violence this summer.

At a press conference at Dr. Loesch Family Park (formerly Wainwright Park), Mayor Walsh, Police Commissioner William Evans, local clergy and parents of murder victims said that while the effort by itself is not enough to eliminate violence, it's a good first step.

Evans said every gun off the street is one less chance of somebody getting killed. He pointed to last month's death of a 9-year-old at the hands of his brother fooling around with a gun as an example.

Although police will accept guns from anybody, no questions asked, Walsh said officials hope to go well beyond guns that had been sitting in somebody's basement for decades. Clergy and city street workers will press hard to convince teens and other people to turn guns in - police will even offer pick-up service for people who don't want to walk around with a gun on the way to the nearest police station.

Walsh added he is pressing local companies to provide both summer and permanent jobs to help kids find an alternative to violence.

Tina Chery, whose son, Louis Brown, was shot to death in 1993, said parents have to help, even if that means getting a little tough. Kid has a lock on his door? "Take that lock off the door" and make sure nothing illegal is hidden there, she said.

Walsh said the estimated $100,000 cost of the program will be picked up by private donors. He and Walsh said several groups, including the Police Athletic League, have already committed donations.

Evans added that even before the press conference, people had turned in five guns.



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Does anyone have any statistics that this actually works, and makes gun crimes go down?

I'm being VERY serious here. I read this article in the Metro this morning, and am curious to know if this actually works in reducing gun violence, or is more of a 'feel good' gesture to make folks feel like something is being done?

(and I mean hard evidence as a direct correlation, not a 'side effect')

New Gun Buy Back Programs

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Not to be out done the City of Chelsea has offered $300 per gun in their own Gun Buy Back Program.
Brookline has offered $500 but no one in that town has any guns apparently.
The city of Revere has offered to sell Brookline guns for $600 each.

This eventually could lead to war. According to the Herald anyway.


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Visa Gift Cards... they are everywhere you want it to be!

Kidding aside, what gun dealer doesn't accept credit cards (except shady, cash-only ones)? If they accept credit cards, they accept VISA Gift cards, because its everywhere you want it to be.


At least, if ATFE can be believed, a third of the guns on Boston streets are coming from sales in other states, where ne'er-do-wells, or their clean-record associates, can buy legally, the former from a private gun owner, the latter from a licensed dealer:

That said, $200 doesn't buy you a lot of upgrade from a rusty street piece, plus there's travel time, haggling, opportunity cost (what mayhem could I be perpetrating on the mean streets of Boston whilst I'm bass-thumping through cow country looking for 'the white house with the pickup truck next to the stone wall'?) ... all in all, I'd keep the Saturday Night Special, were I a rational actor, which we have to hope, many are not.

You really believe gift cards are magic?

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It's a visa gift card, so yeah, actually, I bet a legit dealer would totally take it (and I bet you a bunch of legit gun owners will in fact turn in some worthless, non-functional guns and walk away laughing their asses off.)

Even if they didn't:

Hoodlum trades in gun for $200 visa card.
Hoodlum buys groceries with card instead of cash or other credit card.
Hoodlum has $200 extra in cash/bank account.

Or Hoodlum asks around and a buddy says "I'll give you $190 in cash for it."

Tada. Maaaaaaaaagic.

Of course it doesn't work.

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Of course it doesn't work. You can't even buy a handgun for $200 new. Guns are kind of expensive.

nice. just thought about

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nice. just thought about something that prob would never happen, but.. what if some cleaver teen or thug is caught with gun on streets and claimis they are taking it to buy back (but really is not)? they luck out?

Probably not

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I doubt they'd get out of it that easily. If nothing else, the police officer could always say, "Oh, you're heading to the police station to turn that in? Great! Let me give you a lift!"

Little tricky to get out of that one. :-)

"no questions asked" is

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"no questions asked" is another way of saying "no snitchin'

Whatever is turned in will either a) be replaced if criminal b) or was never a threat to public safety in the first place

The DOJ concluded these buybacks were worthless PR students a long time ago. The money could be better used to solve open cases and better fund anti-gang units/efforts.

Muggers buy back program

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How about the T promising to allow muggers a free yearly charlie card along with a gift card as long as they promise not to mug and rob their fellow passengers!


This is why it's a good idea to buy crappy used $50 Locrin L25s whenever possible. Thanks for the no-questions-asked $450, suckers

Somehow a gun buyback program

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Somehow a gun buyback program sounds like it can cause even more violence. Who else sees a bunch of the city's thugs running around stealing as many guns as possible to make $200 a pop on them?

Not to mention gun buyback's are a short term strategy at best. It'll take a mere few months for there to be just as many guns back on the streets of Boston as there were before.

The only way this MIGHT make a dent in gun violence is if they keep the $200 gun buyback program open indefinitely, with no cap.

Oh and what about all of those stabbings... might want to do a knife buyback while we're at it. Actually, not just knives, we should do a buyback on any sharp handheld object. That should make the streets safer for sure.

What does the 9-year old's death have to do with it?

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That 9-year old died at the hands of his 14-year old brother who was out of control and escalating in violence towards his entire family. He had been put in a group home after one incident and ran away from it the same day he arrived. He started a fight in school that required the in-school cop to call for backup to control him. He also claimed to have to protect himself from "other people" as his justification for obtaining the weapon (at who knows what cost and from whom).

Do you really think he would have said "Oh, wait, my plans are are all for naught. Before I accidentally kill my younger brother, let me deposit this pistol with the proper authorities and obtain a ripe $200 for my troubles and I'm certain no questions will be raised about a 14-year old handing in a gun when I do!".

That 9-year old boy is dead because his brother was out of control. Not because "there are too many guns on our streets" or because somewhere along that gun's story it would have been turned in for $200 instead of sold/given to that 14-year old for his own purposes and he never ever would have found an equivalent gun for his purposes. Using that death to justify this gun buyback is absurd. There are probably better poster cases where someone died because there was a gun that the family got a while ago and never thought to sell/dispose of correctly that this kind of buyback truly keeps from happening in the future. They should use one of those and stop raising the specter of that 9-year old whose mother was trying to get help in dealing with her 14-year old but the system ultimately failed all of them.

Great advice...

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Tina Chery, whose son, Louis Brown, was shot to death in 1993, said parents have to help, even if that means getting a little tough. Kid has a lock on his door? "Take that lock off the door" and make sure nothing illegal is hidden there, she said.

Because a teenager who surreptitiously brought an illegal gun into your house and keeps it in his locked bedroom doesn't already have trust issues with you and a clear acceptance of violence as a solution. Quick, break down his door when he's not home, sell his illegal gun to the cops for $200, and talk to him about using words and not bullets. That will go swimmingly, I'm sure.

Now THERE is where the tale of the 14-year old that killed his 9-year old brother and physically abused his mother is relevant!

uh, what?

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"Because a teenager who surreptitiously brought an illegal gun into your house and keeps it in his locked bedroom doesn't already have trust issues with you and a clear acceptance of violence as a solution."

He didn't lock his bedroom door because he had trust issues. He put a lock on his door because he was keeping an illegal gun behind that locked door, idiot.

If I had a child and a lock appeared on their door, you know what I'd do? I'd go down to the local police station and ask for some help.

Junior comes home and finds an officer over for dinner; friend of the family, old college buddy. On the dinner table in front of Junior's seat is a screwdriver, spackle/putty knife/paint/paintbrush.

Junior takes off the lock, spackles, paints...thinks he's all done...and then finds out he's got to take the door off, and the door is going into the basement for the next month.

That's when Junior finds out that from now on, every morning, I'm walking his ass to school and then walking his ass home from school, where his ass will stay until his homework is done and verified.

Hurray, tough guy

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I'd go down to the local police station and ask for some help.

Is that before or after he shoves your head into the wall? Read up on the 14-year old who shot his 9-year old brother.

You think his mother didn't go to the police for help? She and the 9-year old were being physically and mentally abused by the 14-year old. She went for help and he attacked her for it. I'm not entirely convinced that the 14-year old shot his brother on accident the way people are drawing the picture. Based on his past actions, it seems less like "oops, he was in the room and I was cleaning it and it went off" so much as "damn it, fool, I told you to leave me alone! This is my gun and you don't wanna piss me off...oops".

Your scenario where you get Officer McFriendsofyours to come over and watch the kid take the lock off the door and walk him to school is so completely outside reality for the situation where the kid is confident enough to bring the illegal gun into his bedroom in the first place.

would police look into a gun

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would police look into a gun turned in that was suspicious or not? like if they thought it was used in murder

How about

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A thug buyback program? Report an armed thug, get $200 gift card.

I upgraded.

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I think it may have been one of Boston's first attempts at a gun buyback. I turned in one of my Father's old, unworkable, rusted out hunting rifles. Hadn't been fired in years. I brought it to the Area C, District 6 police station in South Boston and gave it over for $50. The following weekend I went to my favorite gun shop on the South Shore and put that money towards a beautiful brand new Smith & Wesson 9mm, semi automatic handgun which I still proudly own to this day. Hey, the gun buy back program worked just fine for me. Aren't you all glad I'm not a criminal?

Won't work this time

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At yesterday's Mondays With Marty meeting in Brighton, the BPD were handing out flyers with info on the buyback program.

Two of the turn-in rules are:
After the gun is screened by officers, and determined to be a working firearm, a gift card will be given.
Rifles and shotguns will be accepted, however no incentive will be issued.

Also, the "no questions asked" is only for illegal possession. If you follow all of the rules, then they won't hit you for illegal possession if the gun isn't yours or you're unlicensed to carry. The gun will be tested by the ballistics lab and if it is matched to a crime, they'll investigate (however during the buyback you remain anonymous).

comments on this topic are twisted

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I don't see why gun nut suburbanites who are scared of the big bad city would care if inner city kids are turning in their deadly weapons for cash.