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.