News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Akron General

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Buying back guns is strictly business
Cleveland police annual buyback offered gift cards for firearms, but when those ran out, some people held onto their guns
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Although any working handgun or semi-automatic rifle was eligible for a gift card, CPD accepted any firearm for melting down
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The Cleveland Police Department held its annual gun buyback over the weekend, swapping gift cards for certain types of firearms. Opponents say such programs waste taxpayer dollars and destroy desirable weapons. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, in many cases it comes down to a matter of economics.
LISTEN: Buying back guns is strictly business

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:49)


The gun buyback’s stated mission is to get working handguns or semi-automatic rifles off the streets. This year, about 350 pieces were collected at the Safety Center in exchange for $100 to $200 gift cards, plus tickets to the Lake Erie Monsters or Cavs and a chance at a $1,000 raffle. Non-semi-automatic rifles and shotguns were accepted, too, but with no incentives. All the items will be cataloged and then melted down by ArcelorMittal.

A need for incentives
Cleveland police Sgt. Sammy Morris says this year’s program was a success. Gift cards ran out shortly before the 1 p.m. deadline, and about 50 more guns came in this year than last. Asked why the buyback doesn’t happen more often, Morris said the reason is money. "if you want to become one of our sponsors and help us out with gift cards and all that, we’ll do it as often as you can get us gift cards.”

Cleveland police saw everything come through from starter pistols to shotguns to antique revolvers.

“Just about everyone, when they were talking [and] telling their story, it was, ‘I had this gun laying around the house [and] I don’t need it anymore. I don’t want the gun’.”

Show me the money
But for some folks, that feeling isn’t enough to just give away a gun. When the incentives ran out, people like Paul Jefferson decided not to hand over their firearms. He had a half-dozen rifles and two pistols.

“I still wanted to turn the guns in," he said. "But at this point in time, I’m willing to sell them to anybody – a dealer, not [just] anybody on the street.”

When asked why he didn't want them anymore, he said, "There’s no need to have this stuff around. The kids are grown now. We don’t have to protect the house the way we used to.”

Cash for Guns
He eventually sold both pistols for $120 to Reese McCracken, who set up with just a hand-made “Cash for Guns” sign on the corner one block east of the buyback. He was offering money for items that piqued his interest. About 50 people approached him on the way to the Safety Center downtown, near Cleveland State University. Most he turned away because the pieces didn’t interest him or were broken, but he did buy six pistols for himself that were in working order.

“They’re pieces of history. And to the law-abiding citizens of Cleveland, we don’t look at them as a harmful thing. Everybody wants cash. And gift cards, of course they’ll come in use, but cash is king.” 

Effectiveness
Gun advocates have become increasingly critical of buybacks. And in Arizona, lawmakers last month passed a law forbidding police from destroying guns obtained in such programs. Instead, they have to be sold to federally licensed dealers.

Some researchers question the effectiveness of buybacks in fighting gun violence. A study from the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing at the University of Wisconsin says the people attracted to buybacks are usually the least likely to commit crimes.

Instead, the study says increased police patrols, intervention with known felons and tougher gun laws are more effective.
Listener Comments:

This was always Kabuki Theatre. It made the liberals feel good but it did nothing to reduce crime - as usual.

It did however, enhance some gun collections on the QT.


Posted by: oatka on June 23, 2013 3:06AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's tax commissioner says the ID quiz is going well
I filed electronically and there was no provision to print out a copy that I could find. How do I get a copy sent to my exclusive address of record, including ...

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University