'Unused and unwanted' guns handed in by Guns Save Life, just as the buyback program wanted...

Gun buyback funds kids’ shooting

A pro-shooting group has used the $6000 it received for handing in old guns during a buyback to fund firearm safety training for kids, angering buyback supporters.

The US city of Chicago paid $100 for guns and $10 for BB guns, and the group Guns Save Life used its earnings to buy ammunition and newer rifles for children attending an NRA-backed camp where safe handling and responsible gun ownership are taught.

However, the city’s police accused the group of “abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities”.

The US National Rifle Association countered, a spokesman saying, “it’s a very good example of the resourcefulness of the pro-gun side to take the initiative to turn something used by anti-gunners into a positive”.

A Guns Save Life member said he doubted criminals were handing in guns during the buyback.

Chicago is notorious for its tough anti-gun laws yet still faces escalating gun crime, while in contrast the US as a whole has seen more relaxed gun laws paralleling a drop in violent crime. Gun crime is reportedly up 38% this year in Chicago.

Meanwhile, in the state of Michigan, buybacks have been damned by an academic who specialises in gun law.

Gun buybacks are a failure because their focus is wrong, according to Steven W Dulan, a professor teaching gun law at Coorey Law School.

He said a proposed $50,000 buyback in the city of Lansing is “just a way for the local government to appear to be doing something but it’s actually not effective”.

“No one’s ever shown any data that even shows a correlation between gun buybacks and reduction in violence,” he said.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.