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Opinion: Police Gun Buy-Back Is a Raw Deal

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Opinion: Police Gun Buy-Back Is a Raw Deal

Jodi Hernandez

The Chicago Police Department wants your guns, and it’s willing to pay for them.

On the first summer Saturday of a year when homicides are up 60 percent, the department is holding a gun buy-back program. Titled “Don’t Kill A Dream: Save A Life,” the program offers $100 pre-paid Visa debit cards for every gun turned in. For bringing in a BB gun or a toy gun, you get $10. It’s going on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations.

I’m all in favor of getting guns off the street, but $100 is not a good deal, especially now that the Supreme Court legalized handguns in Chicago, so you don’t have to worry about getting arrested for having that thing in your house.

I looked on the website of Midwest Guns in Lyons.Midwest Guns is having a sale this month. Its least expensive handgun is a Bersa Thunder Lite .380 ACP. The Thunder Lite is a very popular model. It’s small enough for a lady to shoot, but strong enough to kill a man. This gun is going for $295.

And $295 is just the price of the gun. As Jake Malooley wrote in Time Out Chicago, it costs another $265 to become a legal gun owner in the city: you need to buy an Illinois Firearm Owners ID Card ($10), a Chicago Firearms Permit ($100), register your gun with the police ($15) and take a firearm safety class ($140).

So, you’re in for $560, and the cops are only willing to pay you $100? That’s an 82 percent loss.

You can’t even lose that much money on a condo nowadays. Don’t Kill A Dream is a noble cause, but if the police want to buy guns, they should up their offer to $1,000.

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