The Connecticut elementary school massacre in December has prompted a new wave of gun buy-back programs in communities around the country, reports USA Today. While there is no clearinghouse for data on such programs, cities from Seattle to Tampa are reporting heightened interest and overwhelming responses in wake of the Newtown massacre. The buy-backs are yielding thousands of firearms, including military rocket-propelled grenade devices and illegal automatic machine guns. In Tampa, two rocket launchers and a number of sawed-off shotguns were rounded up at an event last month. Also turned in: a flute fashioned into a one-shot, .22-caliber gun.
Camden, N.J., police said seven machine guns and a powerful “safari” rifle capable of taking down big-game were part of a weapons cache recovered there in December. In January, Seattle police were taken aback with the seizure of an expended rocket-propelled-grenade launcher. Two similar RPG devices were turned over to Los Angeles Police Department officials in a post-Newtown buy-back event. The unusual weaponry has not been the only distinguishing feature of the programs in which city officials have been offering up to $200 in cash and gifts to rid their communities of unwanted weapons. In every case, police have been swamped with people wanting to dispose of their guns.