Given the recent spike in gun violence in the city, The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Lawrenceville United, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, City Councilmen Ricky Burgess and Patrick Dowd, and State Representatives Dom Costa, Edward Gainey and Adam Ravenstahl have joined forces to implement a gun buyback program, to be held on September 21, 2013.
The first goal of the buyback is to reduce the number of guns available for criminal use. Last year, Allegheny County experienced its highest rate of homicides in five years, with a total of 92 county-wide. Forty of these homicides were committed in Pittsburgh, and 43 percent of those happened in Zone 5, which covers the East End. Garfield was the site of seven shootings between October 2012 and March 2013, which is sparked this initiative.
The second goal of the buyback is to take guns out of the reach of children. The Children’s Defense Fund Annual Report 2012 stated that nearly a quarter of children living in households with a gun know where it is and have handled it. Children who learn gun safety and those who do not are equally likely to play with a gun, according to the report.
The gun buyback will provide citizens with an opportunity to get rid of their unwanted weapons anonymously, receiving financial compensation at a neutral site. Compensation will take the form of VISA gift cards, with more dangerous weapons compensated at a higher amount. While police officers will be on-site to identify the weapons, there is a strict no-questions-asked policy.
For more information, visit: http://bloomfield-garfield.org/public-safety/gun-buyback/