100+ Guns Turned in for Gun Buyback

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Lansing's 2nd gun buyback program went off with a bang. More than a hundred people came in and traded their working firearms for grocery gift card's no questions asked. Police say they received more than 120 guns from the program, most of which were hand guns.

But the event ended up bringing out more than just people looking to turn in their guns.

Lansing police say the program was a success since it got guns off the streets.

"What you are doing is taking away the opportunity. Taking the opportunity for a criminal that could come into your home and use that gun or perhaps even worse a grandchild or son or daughter accidentally discharging and hurting a family member," said Lansing Police Chief Teresa Szymanski.

Mayor Virg Bernero launched the gun buyback program last year, and this time raised more than $15 thousand dollars for the event. There was a slight change to the program this year, the gift card amount depended on the type of weapon.

"We were giving $100 dollars for a hand gun, $50 for long gun, and $150 for military assault weapon . I am convinced we are going to prevent a tragedy," said Bernero

Just outside where the buyback program was being held pro gun activists were offering cash for guns. Police say the group was fully within their legal rights to be making deals on the street, but it's those types of loop holes in the law that Bernero says need to be fixed.

President of Michigan Open Carry Phillip Hofmeister has a different view.

"I think that's what's right with our laws today in that we live in a free country. We give people an alternative. Rather than getting fire arms destroyed we put them in the hands of responsible people who will use them in a responsible way," said Hofmeister.

Standing out in the cold in midst of the group offering cash for guns was a fairly new group called One Million Moms for Gun Control. The Lansing charter is in support of the gun buyback program and they were speaking out for the first time on their views.

"Our group started 2 weeks ago, and we are looking for those who are willing to join our cause."

To find out more about One Million Moms for Gun Control go to http://onemillionmomsforguncontrol.org/

If you have a gun that you wish to get rid of and didn't make it to the gun buyback program you can still call police and they will come to your home and remove the weapon with no questions asked.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by JR on Feb 21, 2013 at 09:48 AM
    These gun buybacks are a waste of tax-payer money. There were even individual citizens out there willing to purchase them, why in the world is the government buying them and wasting money? Also, this article is absolutely anti-gun biased. Why not provide the link to the good folks who were offering to buy them privately? http://www.miopencarry.org/
  • by jim colson Location: northville ny on Feb 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM
    foolish question. did the people who bought the pistols have a background check done on them. sure they were the mayor and police chief, but they have to follow the same laws as everyone else does. just because they are officials in town dosent mean they can place themselves above state and federal laws.
  • by Pro Gun Location: U.S.A. on Feb 12, 2013 at 02:40 PM
    Once again the media is perpetrating a non-truth..., while the less than educated firearms public takes what they are saying as gospel. There is NO such thing as a Police "Buy Back" of firearms. One (in this case, the Police) can NOT "Buy Back" that which they did NOT sell in the first place, thus the Police were NOT "Buying Back" firearms, but rather just "Buying" firearms for a measly gift card! Once again..., and as usual, the media got it wrong! Pro Gun..., and Proud of it!
  • by James Location: Lansing on Feb 12, 2013 at 06:24 AM
    Researchers who have evaluated gun control strategies say buybacks are among the least effective ways to reduce gun violence. Buyback programs attract people who are least likely to commit crimes and to retrieve guns that are least likely to be used in crimes. Over 90% of Americans believe gun buyback programs do nothing to make our society safer. The only thing a gun buyback does do, is it provides for a great photo op (120 guns piled on a table) for the Mayor and Police Chief.
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM
    Fact over 93% of pepol in the WILX poll said that it would not reduce gun violence just another band ade
  • by V Location: GL on Feb 11, 2013 at 07:52 AM
    Now, if only we could do something with those pesky criminals, Lansing residents may actually see a day that it is safe to walk the streets of their own communities.
  • by Rick Location: Stockbridge on Feb 11, 2013 at 05:46 AM
    If you were to ask me, I believe that people who find it so easy sell their freedom will get what they deserve. And it's a shame that the Mayor and Chief of Police can't be itellectually honest, putting their political adgendas before meaningful public safety measures. If the Mayor and Chief honestly think that they've done ANYTHING constructive with this program, I hope that they're comfortable with their psychosis. WAKE UP PEOPLE! The Bill of Rights is s document to protect US from OUR OWN GOVERNMENT!Hence, The Founders intent by putting The Second Amendment in The Bill of Rights was to insure our ability to protect ourselves FROM OUR OWN GOVERNMENT! Therefore, the only ones that will actually be safer as a result of this wasteful program are the very same that need to be threatened.
  • by V Location: GL on Feb 11, 2013 at 05:13 AM
    Yeah, it got over a hundred guns out of the hands of non-criminals. Now the criminals can walk down the streets a hundred guns safer. I love your non-bias approach WILX. putting contact info for one million moms, but nothing for the pro-gun organization that was present.
  • by oatka Location: Lansing on Feb 10, 2013 at 04:15 PM
    How do they know the guns are in "working condition" Saying they are and then calling it a "Buyback" instead of "Turn-in" tells you this is just more liberal propaganda. How many guns used in a crime have been gotten rid of this way? Taking part in a gun buy back is akin to castrating yourself because you believe the neighbors have too many kids.
  • by jespasinthru Location: Sarasota on Feb 10, 2013 at 03:56 PM
    I believe that a lot of the firearms turned in at these gun buybacks have been involved in crimes. Why else would you surrender a perfectly good weapon for chump change? The cops buy them with no questions asked, and then they are allegedly destroyed. Seems like a perfect way to ditch a hot piece that wasn't yours to begin with, and even get paid for it.
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