How to Get Guns Off the Streets? Allegheny County Officials Have a Plan

Mar 4, 2013

Elected officials at three levels in Allegheny County have announced tentative plans for the creation of a gun buyback program, in which residents would be paid to drop off illegal guns at the county sheriff's office.

State Representative Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) said he understands that criminals won't turn in their own illegal guns, but he said family members might hand them over if they can do so anonymously and for a reward.

"There's a lot of people's loved ones out there that know where guns are in the house. They don't want them in the house, and they want to get rid of them, but they've never had the avenue to be able to get the guns out, or feel comfortable with it," said Gainey. "We want to make this program a way that they can do that."

The program would be a success if it garners even a handful of illegal guns, according to Gainey. He called it "another tool in the toolkit" to reduce gun violence in Allegheny County.

Gainey said specifics are forthcoming for the dates and the scope of the proposed gun buyback program, which would be created in conjunction with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto.