With Gun Buybacks, Philadelphia Fighting Uphill Battle

With Gun Buybacks, Philadelphia Fighting Uphill Battle

NBC10 is one of dozens of news organizations producing BROKE in Philly , a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly . Philadelphia has regularly used gun buybacks as one of the tools in its arsenal to combat violence, but, while well-intentioned, these events may not be having the intended impact. The city netted 353 firearms in two buyback events this year, with 274 of those being handguns and 79 long guns, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. But despite City Council President Darrell Clarke calling them “relatively successful,” research shows these events largely do not work at reducing gun violence. The latest research showing buyback inefficacy comes from a working paper recently published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, which bills itself as a private, nonpartisan group focused on “cutting-edge investigation and analysis of major economic issues.” Authors Toshio Ferrazares, Joseph J. Sabia and D. Mark Anderson examined buybacks in 277 cities from 1991 to 2015 and found that they don’t reduce gun crimes or suicides, partly because there are just so many guns in America that buybacks can’t keep make a noticeable dent in the number of firearms already in circulation. For reference, the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey report found that in 2017, Americans owned 393 million firearms – more than the country’s population of 332 million people. Nevertheless, Clarke touted the buyback strategy during a press conference Thursday alongside Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro […]

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