INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Tuesday it is hoping to slow down the violent crime rate by organizing a gun buyback program for the first time in six years.
Chief Bryan Roach said people might earn gift cards for turning in guns, but the program is still in the planning stages.
The chief met last week with pastors David Greene and Wayne Moore to start planning.
“This would not be a buyback program for some rusted revolver that doesn’t work,” Greene said. “It’s more designed for weapons that are being used for crime on our streets.”
IMPD last sponsored a buyback in 2012, when people exchanged guns for $50 each. Roach said some of the guns were older weapons that are not often used in crimes.
Greene said not all guns in this year’s planned effort would be worth the same amount. “Semiautomatic weapon, gift card may be a lot more than a handgun, most likely,” Greene said.
Roach said he wants one buyback to be in September, another in October and a third likely in November.
According to police, the violent crime rate has jumped in the fall months for the past two years.
Rochelle Anderson, who lost her son to gun violence early this year, called the program “a wonderful idea.”
“I hope they get some of the guns off the streets because that will stop some of the violence,” Anderson said.
Organizers plan to market the buybacks on social media. Greene said they will also give information on gun safety and the best ways to lock up weapons.
He said the events will not be at police stations.
“It’s not a sting operation. They’re not being set up. They’re not getting ready to get arrested for turning in a gun,” Greene said.
According to Roach, the program would receive funding from the Indy Public Safety Foundation. It describes itself as a charitable, nonprofit organization that was founded by motivated civic leaders to assist Indy’s public safety agencies advance their missions.