The name of the program, which is sure to turn the heads of a few gun advocates, was, “Don’t Kill a Dream. Save a Life.” It called for Chicagoans to turn in any firearm, no questions asked, at churches in exchange for a $100 gift card, or a $10 gift card for BB guns and replicas. If our math is right, 5,500 guns (including 700 replicas) amounts to $487,000 in gift cards.
This event was Chicago’s most successful gun buyback program in history. A few churches even ran out of gift cards and had to hand out IOUs. To put it in perspective, the 2010 gun buyback brought in 3,900 guns.
So, what does half a million in tax dollars get you nowadays? Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says that it makes a positive impact on crime, “I’m quite certain that if you look at some of these heavy weapons we certainly are making a difference here, just by getting these guns off the street.” These weapons include M-60 machine guns, sawed off shotguns, and pocket zip guns, to name a few.
All of the weapons will be destroyed, though if the Chicago PD were feeling spunky, they could always give the scrap metal to artists to create gun control art pieces.