A Record 1,186 Guns Surrendered to Bronx Buyback Program

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly grips one of the turned in firearms

As reported in today's Daily News, 1,186 firearms (handguns, semi-aoutomatics and sawed-off shotguns) were turned in by Bronx residents at four borough churches last weekend. For each gun that was turned in, a $200 prepaid bank card was given out. Funding for the program was provided by the Bronx Borough President's office, the Bronx District Attorney's office, and the NYPD.

The gun buyback program, which was launched citywide in 2008, allows residents to exchange their guns with no questions asked. According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the guns will all be melted down and converted into coat hangers. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson was extremely pleased with the residents who turned their guns over, stating that he was "heartened by the fact that the citizens understand that the worth of the weapon may be greater than what they receive...but the value in lives saved certainly outweighs that and [they] saw fit to bring them in."

Read more in the Daily News...


Gun buy back events make for nice photo opportunities, but they're not very effective at targeting the individual's most likely to commit gun crimes, although in the case of the Bronx, the partnership with local clergy could be beneficial.

The ill-fated "Consent to Search" program in St. Louis demonstrated extremely promising results, but for a number of reason's it was not sustained or replicated.

I've been reading the manuscript of Greg and Aubrey's new book, Learning From Failure: Trial, Error, and Criminal Justice Reform, and there's an interesting section on the program.
I can understand what you're saying Ben, and while the individuals who turned these guns in may not all be hardened criminals, the fact that these guns are off the streets can be seen only as a positive.

I also think the gun laws in the City and the sentences that have recently been brought down for those who carry illegal guns (see Plaxico Burress), are a big step in the right direction.