Residents Answer Mayor Daley's Plea to Stop Violence by Turning in Thousands of Guns to Police
May 24, 2010
Residents answered Mayor Richard M. Daley's plea on May 8 to stop the violence on Chicago streets by turning in roughly 4,000 weapons to police as part of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) gun turn-in event.
The event helped police collect 53 assault weapons, 3,235 handguns, rifles, and shot guns, and 586 replicas and BB Guns at 22 locations throughout the city.
Residents traded in the guns with ‘no questions asked' for a prepaid MasterCard - $100 for an assault weapon, $75 for a gun and $10 for a BB gun, an air gun or a replica gun.
“Too often, when guns are readily available, people use them to resolve conflicts or to take revenge. Others get caught in the line of fire. Young children find guns in their homes and treat them as toys, and end up losing their lives or killing others,” said Daley. “If we can get just one gun off the street, then we are potentially saving a life.”
Since 2006, the Chicago Police Department and CAPS have sponsored six successful “gun turn-in” programs collecting almost 19,000 illegal guns. Last summer, the program resulted in the collection of 1,900 guns.
Daley said the Gun Turn-In initiative has evolved from just a police department and CAPS initiative to become a true collaboration among many partners. The faith-based community, business community, advocacy groups, community organizations, parents of victims, law enforcement and some members of the media all played major roles.
Gun violence is a national crisis, affecting cities and towns, large and small, in every part of our country. In 2009, 82 percent of the murders in Chicago were committed with a gun, and 60 percent were gang-related.
The mayor said he will continue fighting for common-sense gun legislation in Springfield and will pursue legislation in Washington (DC), including a ban on assault weapons.