Emanuel Announces Changes in Gun Buy-Back Events

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new city fund Monday aimed at allowing community organizations to host gun buy-back events in Chicago.

The $250,000 fund allows churches and community-based organizations to host their own gun buy-back events, with the assistance of Chicago police staff.

Organizations can apply to host an event through the police department and will be responsible for organizing and advertising the events. Residents that bring in guns will be given cash cards in return-- no questions asked.

Guns falling into the wrong hands grabbed headlines over the weekend when a 6-year-old boy found his father's loaded revolver above the fridge and accidentally shot and killed his 3-year-old brother. 

“At the end of the day, if the kids were throwing rocks at each other, we wouldn't have this problem," McCarthy said.

In the past, gun buy-backs were held as a single event, run specifically by the city.

While the move is another attempt at curbing the gun violence that has plagued Chicago over the years, questions still remain as to whether or not gun buy-back events are effective. 

A 2004 report by the U.S. Department of Justice states that "guns recovered through buybacks and turn-in campaigns are the least likely to have been involved in crime."

According to the DOJ, these kinds of programs have a moderate cost for their cities, and little benefit other than generating an atmosphere of trust between police and the community.

Still, the program has netted thousands of guns during previous events, officials said. Some residents also say they appreciate the events.

Ricky Gonzales said his mother recently turned in a gun to the city.

"It took a lot off her mind because she was worried about it falling in the wrong hands, and she would have felt guilty," Gonzales said. "This way she knows she did the right thing. She got a hundred bucks out of it too."

Contact Us