According to the Associated Press, over 400 firearms were turned over during Boston's Your Piece for Peace gun buyback program last year. Recipients received a $200 Visa gift card for their participation. Boston Police say this initiative never ended, but the number of guns turned in has dropped due to lack of publicity. As non-fatal shootings are up 43 percent, the department is once again making it known that you can get that gift card, which is probably worth less than a third of what most of the firearms turned in are worth. It was formally announced on August 19 (via the Boston Globe):
We’re leaving no stone un-turned to end this violence,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh during a news conference at police headquarters in Roxbury to announce the re-instatement of the buyback program, dubbed “Your Piece for Peace.”
Walsh said last year’s initiative took in more than 400 firearms and “raised awareness in our community about the number of guns on our streets and access that young people have to them.”
“We saw parents who found guns in and around their homes turn them in,” Walsh said. “That’s something that we didn’t always see before.’’
Police Commissioner William B. Evans echoed Walsh’s remarks, while acknowledging the debates surrounding the effectiveness of buyback programs.
“If we get one gun off the street, this program’s effective,” Evans said, noting that last year’s initiative was launched after a 9-year-old Mattapan boy, Janmarcos Peña, was fatally shot in his home on Morton Street. “Those are the tragedies we want to avoid.”
So far, only one firearm has been turned over this year. That’s not a success; that’s abject failure.