Boston

Boston Police Hold Firearm Buy Back Event, Exchanging Guns for Gift Cards

Boston police say they are arresting more and more young people with guns – nearly double compared to last year.

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Boston police are offering $100 Target gift cards to anyone who turns in a gun on Saturday – no questions asked.

The Boston Police Department’s annual buy back program, Guns for Gift Cards, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at six designated drop-off locations throughout the city. Nearly 20 guns were turned in within the first hour alone.

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Boston police say they are arresting more and more young people with guns – nearly double compared to last year. And while statistics show the number of shootings have gone down, gun violence is taking a toll on the community.

“Overall our numbers are down -- probably at historic numbers -- but that said, it’s not enough to tell somebody that our numbers are down,” Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Eddy Chrispin said. “If you’re the victim of crime of a shooting, extended family member or friend, none of those numbers matter.”

The number of stolen guns on the streets are rapidly increasing not only in Boston, but in many major cities across the country. Boston police say illegal guns that end up here mostly come from New Hampshire, Maine and Georgia – though it varies.

Any functioning gun that’s turned into police on Saturday will undergo testing to determine whether it was used in a crime, but police say that’s not the priority for this program.

“At the end of the day, I think our biggest concern is getting the guns off the street because every single gun we get off the street minimizes the likelihood it’s going to be used in a crime, or even if not in a crime, that it’s going to hurt somebody,” Chrispin said.

Police also emphasized that people can turn in a firearm anonymously any day of the year by calling their tip line or crime stoppers.

“I know this is an effort today, but this doesn’t end today,” Chrispin said. “We still have ways that people can turn in illegal guns or guns they just wish to turn into us.”

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