Residents both skeptical and supportive of Gun Buy Back Initiative
At tomorrow’s city council meeting, the City of Pensacola’s proposed Voluntary Gun Buy Back Initiative and Program is predicted to be approved. The program is first and foremost proposed as “an effort to take proactive steps in obtaining functionary firearms with the goal of reducing the likelihood of these weapons from falling into the wrong hands and being used as instruments for committing crime.” The City also states that there are secondary goals of the program, which are educational in nature and are aimed at “encouraging responsible gun ownership.”
The program appears to focus on a one-day purchasing event, set to take place on March 20th at 9AM at Bill Gregory Park. The new proposal clarifies that guns will be accepted “no questions asked.” The weapons will then be screened against a list of firearms reported stolen or connected with crimes, and then those with no law enforcement holds will be destroyed. Only functioning guns are eligible to purchased, and there are absolutely no loaded weapons or ammunition permitted at the event.
The payment for guns will be $125 for a revolver, $150 for a semiautomatic pistol, and $200 for a semiautomatic rifle.
The City plans to distribute gun locks at the event in order to encourage gun safety.
Jeremy Bosso, Founder of Escambia Carry, is skeptical of the proposed initiative’s effectiveness. Bosso stated, “Research from several organizations, including Harvard University, suggests that “gun buyback” programs are ineffective at reducing gun violence. In short, they are a waste of tax dollars. Worse, they can be a means for politicians to virtue signal their opposition to the right to keep and bear arms and the natural right of self-defense and the lawful defense of others. However, if politicians insist on spending those tax dollars, perhaps a more effective use would be covering the cost of firearms safety/training courses equivalent to those currently required to obtain a concealed weapons license and/or to provide funding for similar youth firearms safety/training programs.”
Escambia Carry is a non-partisan, grassroots group dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self defense as guaranteed by both the United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution. More information can be found on the Escambia Carry facebook page.
On the other hand, Cindy Martin, local spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, supports the initiative. Martin said, “My son Matthew Sheldon Cox, Jr. (19) was brutally murdered by a criminal who used a gun reported in a home burglary. I believe that for every gun turned in, it is one less gun kept out of a criminal’s hands, and many unintentional deaths and violent crimes can be prevented. This initiative is a point in the right direction to curb gun violence, and it needs to happen regularly. I don’t mind spending my tax dollars on a worthy cause such as this.”
Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence, with more information available at momsdemandaction.org.
The City of Pensacola will meet Monday, February 22, 2021 at 3:30 PM to vote on and approve the final initiative.