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City Council to consider voluntary gun buyback program

Written by on August 27, 2019

Councilman John Courage and Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan announced a council consideration request for the program Tuesday.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio City Council is considering a voluntary gun buyback program. District 9 Councilman John Courage and District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan announced their submission of a Council Consideration Request Tuesday, explaining that the proposal is still in its early stages. 

The program, as proposed, would allow people to voluntarily exchange guns for cash or gift cards, and the guns collected would be melted and shaped into a memorial for gun violence victims.

If we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals, great,” Councilman Courage said. “But if we can keep them out of the hands of children- if we can keep them out of the hands of people committing domestic violence, if we can keep them out of the hands of people considering suicide- we can save lives. Right here in San Antonio. And this is what this about- this is not taking people’s 2nd amendment rights away- this is about public safety.”

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, a member of the council’s Public Safety Committee, was also present to show support for the initiative. 

Councilman Courage said Tuesday that he and Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan planned to meet with the San Antonio Police Department to see if it could play a role in the program, perhaps hosting the buybacks at its headquarters or one of its stations.

SAPD Chief William McManus released this statement Tuesday afternoon.

“I have participated in gun buy back initiatives in the past and I don’t believe this proposed plan is an effective use of the department’s resources. While the concept behind this type of program is well intended, there is no evidence to suggest that the programs are successful in reducing violent crime or getting weapons out of the hands of criminals. In fact, there are numerous studies that have confirmed that this type of program is largely ineffective.” 

The council members said research is still underway to determine funding sources and how people would be compensated in return for their guns. It would likely depend on the type, age, and condition of the firearm, and could be done through money or through gift cards.

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