The organizers of a one-day gun buy back program held today in Minneapolis and St. Paul say they are trying to prevent more violence. Minneapolis has already experienced more homicides than last year's total, and the vast majority of the killings have been committed with guns.
Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt said, in past events, most of the guns turned in have been in working order, and have been returned for many different reasons.
"I've seen it where a mother brings in the gun of her teenaged son. Why? Because it's unsafe in her home and it's an unsafe lifestyle for her child. So the guns come from a variety of different sources," Reinhardt said.
Minneapolis police officials said they will not ask questions of people who turn in guns during a buy. The buy back is sponsored by a group called the Twin Cities Anti-Violence Coalition.
Lt. Greg Reinhardt said plain-clothed officers will be on hand to take the firearms, but will not try to identify the person bringing in the gun.
Participants will receive a 50 dollar gift card for revolvers and 100 dollars for a semi-automatic. Reinhardt said they are not accepting rifles.
"We're going to receive the guns. We'll make sure, again, if they're stolen we're going to return them to the rightful owners. And if not, we'll destroy them at a later date," Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt said officers rarely recover stolen guns in buy backs. In a previous event, 345 guns were recovered and only one weapon was stolen, he said.