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.

Lehmans

Genie of Fairview Door Company


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
Crime and Courts


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

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 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