MN Gun Buyback Misses the Target

Minneapolis, MN — This weekend, people in Minneapolis participated in a gun buyback program that was well received by the community as the program had to close it doors early as it ran out of gift cards.

According to the Star Tribune, private collectors stood outside of the event promising more money to individuals who would sell their antique weapons.

“While the organizers will claim this event as a success, it’s clear that the firearms obtained during the ‘buyback’ were not guns that had been used in crimes nor would they likely have been. Instead they purchased junk from garages and basements and are financing upgraded firearm purchases,” said Rob Doar of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.

Image Credit: Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus
Image Credit: Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, a pro-second amendment group, points out that some weapons turned in did not match the buyback’s intended goal. In an photograph shared with their Facebook followers, the group shows the program does not always purchase working firearms.

Most guns obtained by these buyback programs nationwide are not ones used to commit crimes. According to a USA Today article, the author Dan Horn explains “Buyback campaigns more often than not end up with hunting rifles or old revolvers from someone’s attic than with automatic weapons that criminals might use, analyst say.”

A deeper look into Minnesota crime shows that violent crime has remained stagnant in the last ten years, while firearm suicide has gone up slightly in recent years.

A look at statistics from 2005-2014 shows criminal homicide maintaining steady, with yearly averages between the upper 70’s to low 80’s.

Statistics within that time frame also show a slight uptick in firearm suicides. Data shows that firearm suicides have surpassed and slowly risen above 300 deaths a year since 2011.

A closer look at raw numbers provided by Bureau of Criminal Apprehension annual reports also shows that most violent crime and suicide are committed with handguns, not hunting rifles.

Overall, violent crime rates show that gun buyback programs, which became popular in recent years, have done nothing in lowering crime with a deadly weapon.

There is no word on whether future buyback events are planned.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.