The Baltimore Police Department collected more than 500 firearms Monday as part as a buyback program that pays residents anywhere between $25 to $500 for their unwanted weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Mayor Catherine Pugh said the buyback is aimed at getting dangerous weapons off the streets, but at least one woman said she’s using the program to buy a bigger, better gun.
A woman by the name of Darlene told a local Fox affiliate that she turned in her 9 mm on Monday in order to “upgrade to a better weapon,” adding that she hadn’t “quite decided” yet what that weapon would be.
Other residents who spoke to the Fox affiliate said they were turning in their old weapons for some quick cash or to support the city’s efforts to curb gun violence.
While gun buyback programs have risen in popularity in recent years, several national studies have found they’re among the least effective ways to reduce crime.
Ms. Pugh said she isn’t deterred by those studies.
“There are all kinds of studies that say all kinds of different things,” the mayor toldFox last week. “Our point here is, there are guns on the streets of our city. We are signaling folks out there, we don’t care if its grandpa’s gun or your gun, we want it.”
The police department is holding another gun buyback all day Wednesday and Friday, paying $25 for high-capacity magazines, $100 for revolvers, pump, and bolt-action weapons, $200 for semi-automatics and $500 for fully automatic weapons.
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