The Boston Police Department confiscated hundreds of guns from criminals this year, like this pistol from a 16-year-old, but only one was received through the city’s buyback program.
After a windfall of more than 400 firearms collected in 2014, Boston’s “Your Piece for Peace” gun buyback campaign netted just one firearm this year. According to city officials, the program is still funded and active, but participation has taken a noticeable dip despite a push by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to highlight the program. In an interview with The Boston Herald, Walsh pointed to a lack of promotion as the reason behind the program’s low yield.
“We need people to know that the gun buyback program is still in process,” Walsh said. “We’ve never ended it. So we’re going to continue to push that out there, and having more information out there letting them know that the program is still in existence, it’s a good thing.”
The Boston Police Department revived its gun buyback program early last year on a $100,000 budget. The goal of the program was to take illegal or homemade guns off the streets, in theory reducing the amount of urban gun-related violence in the city. Participants were enticed with $200 Visa gift cards and directed to deliver the guns in sealed, clear bags. The guns should be unloaded. Participants were also protected from prosecution for the ownership of illegally owned guns, unless they were directly connected to a crime.