Residents who turn in firearms at a gun buyback event slated for next week in Palm Springs will be eligible to receive gift cards valued at up to $250, it was announced Wednesday.
The Palm Springs Police Department said it hopes the “Gun Buyback Program” will help reduce gun violence in the city and rally the community around the drive to take more guns off the streets and improve security in the community.
The event is slated for April 17 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Palm Springs Police Department, 200 S. Civic Drive.
People can anonymously turn in firearms in exchange for gift cards valued at $100 for handguns, $200 for shotguns and rifles, and $250 for assault weapons as classified by the state of California. Police will also distribute $50 gift cards to people who bring in guns that no longer work.
“Weapons should be unloaded and transported in the trunk or rear area of the vehicle,” a police statement reads. “There is no limit to the number of firearms that can be turned in by individuals.”
Police urged program participants to keep their guns in their cars once at the location. Residents were asked to approach an officer and wait for the officer to safely retrieve the gun from the vehicle.
After the transactions, police will be screening serial numbers to determine whether the guns have been stolen. Stolen firearms will be returned to their owners and the rest of the guns will be destroyed.
The effectiveness of gun buyback programs in reducing crime has been questioned by some critics.
A 2004 report by the National Academy of Sciences titled “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review” found that “the theory underlying gun buyback programs is badly flawed, and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.”
The report found that guns that are typically surrendered in buyback programs are those that are least likely to be used in criminal activities, such as guns that are old or malfunctioning.
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