As Boston Shootings Increase, Gun Buybacks Plummet From 410 To 1

The much-touted gun buyback program of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has taken in just one firearm so far this year, which the Boston Herald calls a stunning drop from the more than 400 that came in last year. Boston police say the program is still active and funded, and Walsh yesterday renewed his call for residents to turn over firearms in exchange for gift cards valued from $100 to $200. Police officials couldn't say why they've taken in just one gun in 2015 after claiming 410 last year.

Police spokesman James Kenneally said the decline shouldn't reflect on police work to clear guns in other ways. This year, police have seized more than 400 guns through arrests and other means, putting them on pace to meet, or top, the 651 “crime guns” they claimed last year. “Don't underestimate the effort that goes into taking those guns off the streets of Boston,” Kenneally said. “Those are the tough guns.” The buyback program's success last year pushed the total number of guns Boston police seized to more than 1,060. By comparison this year, 417 guns have been seized by police. The massive drop in the gun buyback program, launched last year by Walsh in the face of a surge in shooting violence, comes as the city grapples with another wave of bloodshed that claimed three lives in a few minutes Wednesday night. Boston has seen 136 non-fatal shootings through Aug. 9, before last night's burst of violence — ?43 percent more than the same ?period last year. The figure also outpaced the city's five-year average of 124.

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