Mayor Emanuel proposes gun buy-back program

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It was another violent weekend in Chicago with three people killed, including a 3-year-old boy, and at least 18 others wounded in shootings.

On the heels of more violence, the Chicago Mayor and Police Superintendent are hoping a gun buyback program will help stop the senseless killings.

How the program works is you turn in your assault weapon for a $100 dollar gift card. Seems like a good idea, but will it work?

“This effort reinforces what our police do every day, every night, and most importantly, or more effectively on the weekends,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Just last month, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy showcased dozens of guns that were pulled off the streets by his officers. 

“We seize more guns, than any city in the country, every single year,” said McCarthy last month.            

On average, he said his department seizes one gun every 72 minutes this year.

So, does a community buyback program carry the same results?

One community activist says yes.

“We have already gotten calls of people wanting to turn in their guns, so we are just waiting on the infrastructure from the city,” said Jedidiah Brown with the Young Leaders Alliance.

However, a 2004 report by the national research council says no.

It shows gun buybacks are  "badly flawed" because criminals don't want to give police their weapons, even if it's anonymous and the types of guns turned in are least likely to be used in crimes, meaning they are antiques or broken.

Still, Superintendent McCarthy stands by the program.

“I've seen grandmothers come in with assault weapons that they took from underneath their grandsons bed, and that kid was a gangbanger and there's no doubt in my mind that taking that gun off the streets saved a life at least that day,” said McCarthy.

The mayor says every little bit helps between this buyback and more officers on the street.

“We are going to try everything we can to bring a level of security and safety throughout the City of Chicago,” said the Mayor Monday.

This program is costing the Chicago Police Department $250,000 from their Community Policing Program.

Churches and neighborhood organizations would hold the buyback in partnership with CPD.

Brown says he plans for his organization to host their own buyback. He says by working through organizations like his, more residents might hand over the weapons.

“It says it's anonymous, you just turn in the gun, no questions asked, but if you don’t have the connection to the institution, they may not feel comfortable and we are able to reach them because we know them or we see them on a daily basis,” said Brown.

Community organizations interested in partnering with Chicago Police to host a gun buyback event can email for more information on how to apply.

Remember this is an anonymous program, no questions asked.