Another Gun Buyback In The Works

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

There were too many guns and too few groceries at Saturday's gun buyback in Lansing.

"We had to turn people away because the turn out was so excellent," said Lansing Police Chief Teresa Szymanski. "I was actually telling people that we were closed, and that we had ran out of funds."

Guns for Groceries closed about an hour early. Police came equipped with 75 $100 Meijer gift cards, but those ran out. An officer bought 20 more, and they still handed out I.O.U.s at the end.

"The right thing to do was make sure they got their credit for it, and straighten up the bill later, which we have done."

Those people got their gift cards Monday morning. Now Lansing police have 99 guns, and not $1 left.

"We're going to start raising money today for that," said Mayor Virg Bernero. "We spent every dollar that we had raised, all of $10,000."

That money was split among 59 long guns, like rifles, and 40 handguns. The mayor said we can expect another buyback, but with a slightly different focus.

"Handguns are the bigger problem out there, although either one could be a problem accidentally in terms of accidental discharge if it's not stored safely," Bernero said. "So, no decisions have been made, but we've talked about targeting handguns, and we've talked about more outreach in the community."

Bernero hopes to get a discussion going at home.

"Having parents be more engaged with their young people about 'Do you have a gun?', and here's a chance for you to get rid of it," Bernero said.

Szymanski said she plans to have a round table with the mayor's office to get another gun buyback set up.

All of the guns collected will be destroyed.


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  • by Jason Location: Jackson on Aug 22, 2012 at 12:47 AM
    This story is a bunch of nonsense. Here's what I am going to do. I am going to keep my 9mm pistol in my night stand where it belongs. I am going to go to my JOB tomorrow and make my 100 bucks that can be used for groceries. I think that plan will work just fine.
    • reply
      by RT on Aug 23, 2012 at 06:31 AM in reply to Jason
      Well said, Jason!!!
  • by Jason Location: Lansing on Aug 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM
    Why is local media along the city consider the gun buyback a success? Just because all the gift cards were handed out doesn't mean it was successful. Lets see some stats! How many stolen or unregistered guns were acquired? How many illegally modified guns were acquired? My bet is less than 5 and I believe I am being generous at that... I believe a gun buyback can be a tool to properly dispose of unwanted guns, but it's not the fix that Lansing needs to cure it's unwanted crime. The media and city should pause for a moment to see if it was actually successful..
  • by intelhonest Location: Plymouth on Aug 21, 2012 at 09:01 AM
    I said it before and I will say it again. Mr. Bernero and the police chief need to do a little research and educate themselves before they tout something that provides a false sense of security and has the opposite impact of what they claim. Gun buy back programs reducing crime is a fallacy. There is no data showing it has ever been successful. In fact, it more likely INCREASES crime. Say a criminal needs $100. They are likely to turn in their stolen firearm, no questions asked, to get the $100 because all they have to do is steal another gun to replace the one they turned in. So a criminal gets a $100 reward and no questions asked for the gun they stole. A law abiding citizen wanting to replace the gun the criminal stole from them gets a Federal background check and pays the state sales tax on their legal purchase. Quite the vicious circle.
  • by Tobias on Aug 21, 2012 at 08:39 AM
    Sorry... but this is a STUPID idea from the start. Do you really think a criminal is going to turn in a gun for a Meijer gift card? Yeah. Next time they want to steal something, maybe they'll slit someone's throat with the edge of the gift card. DUH! Glad the PoPo mayor think this is a grand idea, but its just another way for them to make it look like they're doing something. All of these people turning in guns are more than likely people who SHOULD have guns to defend themselves against the thugs who sure as hell aren't going to be in that line turnin' in no GAT for no gift card!
  • by James Location: Lansing on Aug 21, 2012 at 06:46 AM
    Sigh...In other words, that's over a hundred less guns in the hands of law abiding citizens that criminals need to worry about now. Giving up your guns to this proven failed program that only leaves law abiding citizens less protected against violent criminals, is a JOKE. If you are an armed law abiding citizen, you would be a complete FOOL to participate in this idiotic program. By giving up your arms for groceries, you may be able to buy a nice steak, but you are leaving yourself and your family that much more exposed to the armed criminal. I guess one positive way to look at this entire idiotic program, is that at the very least, you will have a nice, final supper.
    • reply
      by Dan on Aug 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM in reply to James
      To be quite honest, I thought about taking an old Iver Johnson 12ga that's worth about 20 bucks down there to trade in. I'm guessing that's what most of the people were doing, trading in worthless barely or non-functional guns for a slight profit. Believe me, I wouldn't be taking my M4 or 1911 down there... Any law abiding citizen that chose to turn in a weapon valued over $100 dollars is lacking a bit in the common sense department, and probably shouldn't have a gun anyway.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Aug 21, 2012 at 06:40 AM
    YIPPEEE!! Another gun buy-back! I feel safer already...NOT!
  • by Kris Location: Lansing on Aug 20, 2012 at 07:44 PM
    Instead of Meijer gift cards, they should give out gift cards (credits) towards Board of Water & Light or Consumer's Energy bills......With winter & high heat bills coming up, a credit would be a God send !!
    • reply
      by Angie on Aug 21, 2012 at 07:08 AM in reply to Kris
      6 of one 1/2 dozen of another, Kris. Money saved on groceries can go toward utility bills. Unfortunately, most of the thugs using the guns around here probably have Bridge Cards for their groceries anyway so there isn't much incentive for them to give up the guns.
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