Despite studies showing that gun buyback programs don’t snare many crime guns, Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee disagrees, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Noting that parents bring in guns they found under their children’s mattresses. McGee announced a buyback last week and said it took in 102 guns in three days of collecting. Funded by private donations from businesses and churches, the program has paid $50 to $150 for each handgun or sawed-off shotgun. No long rifles or hunting shotguns are accepted.
Thanks to donations from the Milwaukee Police Association and Schlossmann Automotive Group, the collection continues today. The city of Milwaukee has recorded 78 homicides this year, compared with 53 at this time last year. A study by the Firearm Injury Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin found that handguns recovered in buyback programs are not the types most commonly linked to firearm homicides and suicides. To have a more effective program, said Stephen Hargarten, director of the Firearm Injury Center, specific guns such as pistols should be the focus. While police are happy to get any gun off the street, they agree with the study. “The reason Milwaukee Police Department does not hold its own gun buyback program is because we don’t believe it gets the right kind of guns that are used in the commission of violent crimes,” a spokeswoman said.