Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Alderman Michael Scott, Jr., community leaders and ministers to announce a new $250,000 city fund to support local gun buy-back events across the city - an effort to get guns off the street and save lives in Chicago neighborhoods. Under this new format, born out of numerous conversations between the Mayor, police, pastors, alderman and community members, the city will partner with interested community organizations that apply to host buy-backs in their neighborhoods.
“Everyone has a role to play in the safety of our city, and this new partnership is a great example of how we can all work together to make our communities safer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As police, pastors and community leaders come together to encourage people to turn in their guns, we can help turn the tide in our fight against gun violence.”
The effort represents a change in the city’s historic approach to gun buy-backs. When the city hosted gun buy-backs in the past they were held as a single event, run specifically by the city. Under the new format the city will partner with community organizations to host a number of buy-backs across the city.
"I strongly support Mayor Emanuel's new gun buyback program as a means of minimizing the number of weapons in our communities," said 24th Ward Alderman Michael Scott Jr. "Every gun turned in is a potential life saved."
“Our communities are flooded with illegal guns, and we need to do everything in our power to save lives,” said Jedidiah Brown, President of Young Leaders Alliance. That’s why I asked the Mayor to create this fund. So that we can work together to get these dangerous guns out of our homes, basements and off the streets.”
“Every gun we take off the street is a potential life saved,” said Pam Bosley, the mother of murder victim Terrell Bosley and co-founder of Purpose over Pain. “The police are not solely responsible for curbing gun violence. Our churches and communities need to step up. I fully support this gun buy back fund that allows a stronger partnership between police and communities.”
“Many young men and women in our communities would take a different path if we give them a real choice. I see these events as one step toward giving them a different choice,” said Annette Nance-Holt, the mother of murder victim Blair Holt and co-founder of Purpose over Pain. “They can bring in their guns, no questions asked, and take that first step. I want to thank the Mayor and the police department for making these resources available.”
Organizations can apply directly to the police department and will be responsible for organizing and advertising the events. Chicago police will staff the buy-back events, recover the guns, and provide cash cards for guns turned in. The $250,000 fund will be used to purchase the cash cards, and is funded through the existing CPD budget.
“Illegal guns drive violence in our neighborhoods, and we must do everything possible to keep them off our streets,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Our officers already recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city in the country, and this new take on gun buy-backs will help us get even more guns out of our communities.”
Community organizations interested in partnering with Chicago Police to host a gun buy-back event can email Buyback@chicagopolice.org for more information on how to apply.