The Jonesboro Police Department (JPD) announced last week that they’ll be holding three “gun take back” events later this month.
Residents who trade in guns to the police will receive a $50 gift card per gun. The cards will be usable at local businesses, according to KAIT.
A JPD spokesman said in a press release about the event:
We hope to give people the opportunity to surrender unwanted firearms, thereby reducing the chance of those firearms falling into the wrong hands.
The motivating factor behind the new program was a May shooting in downtown Jonesboro that left one victim dead.
While the intentions behind this program might be pure, these “gun take back” programs have overwhelmingly flopped when tried elsewhere.
For example, the federal government has known since the 1990s that “gun take back” programs don’t result in reduced crime. It’s easy to understand why this is so. Law-abiding citizens will be the ones who patronize such a trade-in event. Violent criminals? Probably not so much. I doubt many drug dealers make use of the “drug take back” sites in Arkansas either.
“Gun take back” events can also be costly, depending on how many guns are returned at these events. These resources could be better spent on more traditional and effective methods of reducing crime.
Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), told The Arkansas Project that these programs are nothing but publicity stunts.
Gun “buy back” programs are one of the least effective ways to address violent crime. Usually the guns don’t work, the crime rates don’t drop, and law enforcement officers are distracted from their regular duties and rounds. In reality they are nothing more than publicity stunts.
In other words, the JPD is wasting its time and valuable taxpayer resources on these “gun take back” events that won’t do anything to reduce violent crime.