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Buffalo Gun Buy Back Program Saturday

For the sixth year in a row, The City of Buffalo will hold a gun buyback program Saturday, offering  donated gift certificates, ranging from $10 to $100 for each gun brought in off of city streets. 

COMPLETE COVERAGE: The Cost | Effectiveness Studies | Candidate Calls It A Publicity Stunt | On The WBEN Liveline

The event will be held from 9-5 Saturday at the following locations:

East Side
True Bethel Baptist Church    
907 East Ferry Street  
South Buffalo
St. Thomas Aquinas
450 Abbott Road
St. John Baptist Church
184 Goodell Street

West Side
Prince of Peace Christian Church
190 Albany Street

Primera United Methodist Church
62 Virginia Street
North Buffalo
Church of the Good Shepherd
96 Jewett Parkway

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
311 Ontario Street

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What's your thinking on gun buyback programs?
Waste of time and money
( 79% )
Can't hurt
( 17% )
Great idea
( 4% )
What's It Cost?  What's It Get? 

The program distributes pre-paid bank cash cards in exchange for guns brought in off the streets. 

It dispenses $10  for non-working or antique guns (including BB guns and pellet guns), $50 per  Rifle or Shotgun,  $75 per handgun and $100 certificates for "assault weapons" (e.g., Uzi’s AK-47s).The money comes from outside donations and drug asset forfeitures.

In 2012 the average per gun cost was $43.04 , with overtime totals of approx. $15,000, according to an audit of the program by City Comptroller Mark Schroeder .

In each year, most guns came from North and South Buffalo, rather than the violence plagued East side.
In 2012, handguns were outstripped by guns that didn't work, but over the entire 5 years of the program,  slightly more handguns were turned in. Much more money was spent on handguns in total due to differing prices each year.

The 2012 program brought in 294 guns that didn't function (total cost: $2,940), 253 handguns ($18, 975 paid out ) , 193 rifles or shotguns ($9,650 paid out ) and 5 assault weapons ($500 ), according to the audit. 

The effort cost $15,00 in overtime, the audit said.

On The WBEN Liveline In Favor: City Council Member David Rivera, Former Police Officer in Favor Against:  Economics Prof. Alex Tabbarrok, George Mason Univ.

Critics Abound, But Mayor, Neighbors Press On

While academic studies nationwide are skeptical about how effective such programs are at reducing crime, Brown  maintains that it is an essential part of his anti-crime strategy.

“I recognize that this single Gun BuyBack effort will not eliminate the illegal weapons on our city streets,” said Mayor Brown in a prepared statement.

“We may never know how many crimes we’ve prevented as a result of past Gun BuyBack events, but we do know there won’t be a tragic shooting in Buffalo tied to the guns we collected,” Brown said.

Several academic studies say such programs are far better at community outreach than actually reducing gun crime.

" The theory underlying gun buy-back programs is badly flawed and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs,." "

--The National Research Council's committee on Law and Justice in a 2004 report.

"The theoretical premise for gun buy-back programs is that the program will lead to fewer guns on the streets because fewer guns are available for either theft or trade, and that consequently violence will decline.," the National Research Council study wrote. " The theory... is badly flawed."

 Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda disagrees.

"We believe that it has been effective. We can never prove that it has saved a life but I believe it has. ..1,359 handguns alone have been turned in in the previous five gun buybacks. That's a huge number of handguns, and I believe that most of those guns would be illegal. I don't know too many permit holders turning in handguns"
  The rare Republican running for mayor this year, is one of the many that is critical of the concept, calling it ineffective.

Sergio Rodriguez says the way the event is promoted- with Mayor Brown's name on bus shelters and billboards-  speaks to the real purpose as an annual publicity tool.

"I've seen at least four or five billboards. Big Letters: 'Byron Brown, city of Buffalo Gun Buyback program.' So this seems to be more about him than actually putting in place and implementing .programs that are effective in fighting crime in the city," Rodriguez says.

To help promote the Gun BuyBack effort, Lamar Outdoor Advertising has provided billboard space throughout the city and the NFTA has Gun BuyBack signs in bus shelters throughout the city.

Neighborhood leaders involved in the anti violence effort say community outreach is an essential part of the anti violence effort.

"I've been to 10 funerals this year, and violence has plagued this community," says Leonard Lane of MAD DADs. "The only way we are going to decrease violence is to stand up and speak out and do something about it."

Rodriguez acknowledges that the effort may have a role in community police work, but says that in some cases people could buy guns for less money than the city program pays, and actually traffic in guns for profit.

05/03/2013 6:34AM
Buffalo Gun Buy Back Program Saturday
Please enter your comments below.
05/03/2013 7:46AM
Cue the whining.
Go ahead gun fetishists. Pout to your heart's content! Gonna get loud around here.
05/03/2013 9:07AM
Event is contrary to state law requirements
The no questions asked aspect of these buybacks/surrenders violate several points of the state penal code. Although state law allows for voluntary surrender of "firearms" (handguns, machine guns, and now under the NY SAFE Act "assault weapons") the law, Article 265.20(f.), specifically requires that the name and address of the person turning in such items be provided. Additionally Article 400.05(4) requires that the data (make, model, caliber, serial#, ect) on any "firearms" taken from any person be transmitted to the "Executive Dept., of the State Police in Albany", who are to conduct a search of their files for any info on the weapon (ie. stolen weapon report). The local authority is to be immediately notified of any findings. Any finally, before any "firearm" is to be destroyed by local authorities, Article 400.05(5) requires that the local authority notify the SP of its intent to destroy such weapon, and that the SP, only after making a check of their files and making a record of the data in the weapon, give the local authority permission to destroy the weapon. My understanding is that the ID of persons turning "firearms" at these "buybacks" is NOT being made, and that collected "firearms" are being destroyed with the required involvement by the State Police as noted. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no legislation passed which enables local authority to bypass the above mentioned procedures during these so called "buybacks".
05/03/2013 11:49AM
This isn't journalism.
Any entity that charters buses to take a bunch of rednecks to Albany to whine en masse is not to be taken seriously when the same entity pretends to be objective. WBEN fail
05/03/2013 12:21PM
This isn't journalism?
Anyone who doesn't understand the difference between a talk show and a news cast? Also FAIL! Should one distrust the entire Buffalo News (or Artvoice for that matter) because they have editorial pages? Should we never believe the News because Warren Buffet has hosted maximum level fundraiser for the President? (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/warren-buffetts-rule-give-big-to-get-obama-re-elected/) FAIL, HATER, FAIL!
05/03/2013 3:57PM
RE: post @ 9:07am "...and that collected "firearms" are being destroyed with the required involvement of the State Police as noted". My mistake in proof reading! Of course those weapons ARE NOT being disposed of in accordance with the required State Police involvement as mandated under Penal Articles 400.05(4) & (5). There is no required check of the State Police files being done to see if there are any "wants" on the weapons, no record of them is being made of those files and no permission to destroy them is being granted by the SP to the local authorities that collected them. It's VERY possible that weapons which may be key evidence in criminal cases is simply being melted down without investigation! Stolen arms, which the rightful owner would like to get back, are just being chopped up!
05/03/2013 4:04PM
Want to be judged by the company you keep?
The new NRA president is a neo-Confederate and a birther. This weekend's NRA convention features the likes of Glenn Beck, John Bolton, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum. Those are your overlords, obedient WBEN follower. Stand proud and give them your money as they demand.
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