In an effort to prevent gun crimes and accidents in Suffolk County, Long Island, police are asking the public to exchange illegal firearms for a cash gift card this holiday season — no questions asked, Newsday reports. If any of the guns are tied to a crime, there will be no suspect to which it can be matched because of the amnesty. Officials said an anonymous amnesty is necessary to get guns off the street.
The programs have little crime control value. David Kennedy of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice said generally those who turn in the guns are at a low risk of either committing a gun crime or being involved in a gun accident. The kinds of guns turned in are not those typically used in crimes. Those who turn the guns in for cash sometimes use the money to buy other weapons. “It’s just not much of a crime control initiative,” Kennedy said. In the past five years, Suffolk police have recovered more than 10,000 guns.