Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to waste another $250,000 of the city’s money in order to fund a gun buy-back. He announced his plans yesterday at press conference attended by the usual hanger’s on. The money is coming from the Chicago Police Department’s budget. The “intent” is to “get guns off the street”.
Emanuel’s buy-back will be a partnership between the city and various groups who can apply for grants to fund buy-backs.
Organizations can apply directly to the police department and will be responsible for organizing and advertising the events. Chicago police will staff the buy-back events, recover the guns, and provide cash cards for guns turned in. The $250,000 fund will be used to purchase the cash cards, and is funded through the existing CPD budget.
“Illegal guns drive violence in our neighborhoods, and we must do everything possible to keep them off our streets,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Our officers already recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city in the country, and this new take on gun buy-backs will help us get even more guns out of our communities.”
The last time the city sponsored such a buy-back gun rights organizations and suburban gun dealers dumped a number of inoperable firearms on the city and collected $100 each in gift cards. John Boch of Guns Saves Lives said the money was used to purchase ammo for a NRA youth camp.
Boch is vowing to return to Chicago with another 50 or 60 guns to turn in.
“We will put that money to good use for public awareness efforts on our part,” he said. “We don’t need gun control, we need crime control.”
Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, said officers will check to see whether turned-in guns are operable but won’t check the IDs of the people who bring them in.
“If people want to game the system, society is the victim,” he said. “I think those people need to ask themselves, are they part of the solution to reduce violence?”
No, what Mr. Guglielmi should be asking is whether this $250,000 of taxpayer’s money couldn’t be better used in enforcement efforts against criminal gangs such as the Gangster Disciples, the Latin Kings, and Black P Stone. When you look at a map of Chicago and see very few areas that don’t have known gang boundaries, it is what I’d be asking.