After Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $250,000 gun buyback program yesterday, a downstate gun-rights advocate promised to come to Chicago to exploit it, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “We will be delighted to transact business once more with do-gooders in Chicago,” John Boch of Guns Save Life. The group used Chicago's 2012 gun buyback to embarrass city officials. Members said they turned in about 60 guns, some rusty and inoperable. They got $100 MasterCard gift cards for each gun, which they used to buy ammunition for a National Rifle Association youth camp and bolt-action rifles for campers. Suburban Chicago gun dealers took advantage of the no-questions-asked policy to unload inventory worth less than $100 in exchange for the $100 cards. At the time, city officials angrily accused Guns Save Life of abusing a program intended to take guns off the streets of Chicago and reduce violence. Boch says the group was simply demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the program.
Anthony Guglielmi, Chicago Police Department spokesman, said officers will check to see whether turned-in guns are operable but won't check the IDs of the people who bring them in. “If people want to game the system, society is the victim,” he said. “I think those people need to ask themselves, are they part of the solution to reduce violence?” Chicago Police collected about 5,500 guns in the 2012 buyback. This year, the goal is to take 2,500 guns off the street. Once again, the city is providing $100 gift cards for each gun. In a 2013 study, Anthony Braga, a Rutgers University criminologist, said municipal gun buybacks don't seem to make a significant dent in violent crime. “Research can say whatever it wants, I can show you the examples,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.