MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Minneapolis is hoping a gun buyback program will help curb violent crime.

The number of homicides have gone down in Minneapolis since last year but the total number of shootings are up 46 percent. The city of Minneapolis hosted two gun buyback locations Saturday to try to encourage gun owners to turn in their weapons anonymously in exchange for Visa gift cards.

“Had a couple firearms in my safe that hadn’t been used for a lot of years and I figured, good as place as any,” John Murphy, from New Hope, said as he left a gun buyback at a fire station in north Minneapolis. “It was an easy process.”

The program was a collaboration between the nonprofit Pillsbury United Communities and the city of Minneapolis. Authorities from the Minneapolis Fire Department and the Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighter Association were at a fire station in north and in south Minneapolis to collect the surrendered weapons.

Minneapolis Police said both gun buyback locations had to shut down around six hours early Saturday after running out of gift cards. It’s estimated around 150 firearms were collected between the two locations.

The buyback program will be part of a new campaign called “Art Is My Weapon: A Minnesota Installation of Guns In the Hands of Artists.”  The guns will be decommissioned and given to local artists who will make art showing the impact of gun violence.

“If we can get guns that people no longer want to have around their house off the streets to where they cannot be stolen from houses and used in crimes that’s a good thing,” Minneapolis Police Officer Corey Schmidt said.

Some gun owners were skeptical of the program’s effectiveness.  One anonymous gun owner said he received $200 in gift cards for his firearm and plans to use the freed up funds for a new gun.

“I just don’t feel that a criminal is going to come up to a fire department with a bunch of police around it and turn in a gun,” he said.

Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee released a statement saying in part:

“It is long past time that the City of Minneapolis works on addressing violent crime using effective, proven strategies rather than continuing to focus on the failed gun control strategies of the past.”

Still, others think the gun buyback could help.

“For this to work people don’t want to get questioned and they promoted it as no questions asked so that’s what people are looking for,” Murphy said.

Kate Raddatz

Comments (27)
  1. Wanye Kest says:

    Any Pop-Tarts?

    1. Dan Mack says:

      They were still popping their tarts over at Lucy Lane elementary school. Only one girl shot. Shootings are up 46 percent Arrests down 76 percent. Mayor Betsy and Queen Janey are proud their stand down orders on stopping or arresting black gang shooters or disrupting any of their gang activities is working splendidly. .

  2. Chuck says:

    I hope they give me 200 per gun….Ill run to hardware store and make a few zip guns out of pipe…they can have those.

    1. Chmeee says:

      That’s exactly what at least one guy did. $100 for an old shotgun barrel duck taped to a 2×4. What an idiotic program.

  3. Geoff says:

    It is NOT a “buy back”. You cannot “buy back” what you didn’t own in the first place. It is a “gun turn-in”.
    Also, if you REALLY don’t want the gun and you legally own it, you would get a better deal from a Pawn Shop or a local Gun Shop, unless the gun is total junk you are stupid to turn it in at a “buy back”..
    CASH, NOT Gift Cards.
    Example: A working revolver or semi-auto pistol could bring $200 or more at a LGS (Local Gun Store) depending on the make and model.
    A shotgun could bring several hundred dollars if it is one of the higher end brands. Like a Benelli or a Beretta or Ithaca or Remington or Browning. Not the low end under $300 brand new, but the $1000 plus shotguns.
    A semi-auto AR type rifle (and it is NOT ab “assault rifle”. No such thing) could bring $300 and up.

  4. dan w says:

    Any effort to collect excess guns is a good idea…

    1. Dan Mack says:

      I bet you are thinking of all the the starving kids in Africa that could be eating them. Good for you dan. That’s the right thing to do.

  5. gregladen says:

    Where large scale buy back programs have been deployed, gun deaths, gun violence, and gun injuries have gone way down.

    1. Dan Mack says:

      Yep. Any proper government union Socialist can point to the drastic drop in Chicago’s black gang killings to only 50 or so per weekend since they put $250,000 into their gun buyback program.

      1. Dan Mack says:

        In Minneapolis the police used to confiscate the illegal guns when they arrested blacks on the north side. That no doubt cost more than letting them do shoot-outs and drive-bys till the guns don’t work anymore and then just giving them $100 like they do now is a stroke of genius on mayor Betsy’s and Queen Janey’s part.

  6. J.J.Kitts says:

    Liberals are unbelievably stupid people…

  7. Auntie Vyris says:

    It’s a very expensive PR program that gives Sarah Brady a tingle up her leg.

  8. Vince says:

    If the government is buying them back, at what point did they own them before?

    I’d like to be able to go down to the city and go gun shopping sometime.

    Because equality and stuff.