What you need to know about Oakland County’s voluntary gun buyback program

Officials with the program say the offer is open to everybody, including those who don’t live in Oakland County.

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Compared with other rich countries, America has by far the most gun violence — homicide cases, suicides and gun accidents are higher in the U.S. than anywhere else. There’s a simple reason for that: There are a lot of guns, and relatively little legislation constraining gun access.

National and state lawmakers have been slow to solve this problem. Recent gun safety law legislation signed by President Joe Biden expands background checks for some and enlarges an existing law that prevents abusive partners from owning a gun. But on a day-to-day basis, it likely won’t do much to resolve gun violence in our schools and churches and on our streets.

“If you’re a male (and a gun owner), you are eight times more likely to commit suicide than if you’re not a gun owner. If you are a female gun owner, you are thirty-five more times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than if you’re not.” — Rev. Chris Yaw

One idea that has seen some embrace both domestically and abroad is a gun buyback program. The program has the government buy guns back from people and gives them money in return.

This Saturday, parts of Oakland County are doing a voluntary buyback program. In Southfield, Royal Oak, Auburn Hills and Ferndale, people can turn their guns into the police and get money in return. The policy is spearheaded by a few Oakland County Commissioners.


Listen: What a new Oakland County voluntary buyback program looks like.

 


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Reverend Chris Yaw is the revered of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield. He says easy access to guns leads to more gun-related deaths.

“It is not a good thing to have in your house,” says Yaw. “If you’re a male (and a gun owner), you are eight times more likely to commit suicide than if you’re not a gun owner. If you are a female gun owner, you are thirty-five more times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than if you’re not.”

Elvin V. Barren is the Southfield chief of police. He says that people, regardless of which county they live in, can drop off their gun at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield and get either $100, $200 or $300 in return, depending on the type of gun.

“This is an opportunity to not only turn that gun in for proper disposal, but also, it’s incentivized by a monetary contribution,” says Barren.

The buyback will take place Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Oakland County buyback locations can be found here.

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