Police Departments Collecting Guns by the Hundreds Using Buyback Programs

Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | May 13, 2013 | 3:51 PM EDT

Local police departments across the nation are collecting hundreds of guns using buyback programs that allow residents to turn in firearms for gift certificates and cash.


In Portland, organizers say 485 firearms were collected at Lynwood Friends Church during a four-hour buyback event.

OregonLive reports that the number of weapons turned in was the highest since 2001 when 504 guns were collected.  Since the annual event began in 1994, residents have turned in 8,290 firearms.

Those who turned over their weapons were given gift certificates to Safeway grocery store.  Handguns merited $100 while rifles and shotguns were given $75.

"Assault weapons" earned $150 and "high-capacity" magazines, $25.  Residents even turned in pellet and BB guns for $10 gift certificates.


In Pasadena, the police department handed out gift certificates to Ralphs, Target and Best Buy in return for the 135 guns that residents turned over.

Lt. Tracey Ibarra said that one of the weapons, a sniper rifle with scope, would be used by the department for training.

Pasadena PD gave $50 gift certificates for handguns, $100 for rifles and $200 for "assault rifles."


Participation at the Phoenix gun buyback event was so high that the police department ran out of gift cards.

Sgt. Steve Martos says that the event began an hour earlier than scheduled because of the amount of people waiting in line.  The event yielded 176 firearms.

ABC15 reports that, the week before, the police department collected 803 guns.

New Jersey

In Jersey City, guns were shredded by Sims Metal Management after police collected 527 firearms.

Residents who turned in rifles received $100 cash and $150 for every handgun and automatic weapon.

Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced last week that more than 10,000 guns have been taken out of circulation in northern New Jersey as a result of buyback events.


Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced that the 716 weapons collected during a January buyback will be turned into plaques. The plaques will feature quotes from children about a violence free future.

"These upcycled plaques, inscribed with the hopes and dreams of the next generation, will transform weapons of violence into something positive," McGinn said at a news conference.

Residents who turned in guns were given gift cards of $100 or $200, depending on the size of the weapon.

New York

In Long Island, more than 80 guns and magazines were turned in at the Lighthouse Mission in Bellport.

The program handed out cash to residents who turned in weapons, no questions asked.

While it appears the amount of guns being turned in to local authorities is great, "Right Views" has reported that monthly gun purchases across America have skyrocketed in the last few years.

Since President Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, Americans have purchased an average of 46,455 firearms each day.

See more "Right Views, Right Now."

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