Some Hesitation for Gun Buy-back Program - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Some Hesitation for Gun Buy-back Program

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Weeks apart from each other, two teens have died because of gun violence.

The most recent happened this sunday when 16-year-old Lavon Wilson died in a drive-by shooting. A couple weeks before that, 17-year-old Denzel Moss died in a cross-fire shooting.

In an effort to do something to stop this, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has proposed to raise $50,000 to establish a gun buy-back program.

Though few details on it have been released, 6 News spoke with experts who say this type of program is not the answer.

"This is just a way for the local government to appear to be doing something but it's actually not effective," said Steven W. Dulan, a professor at Cooley Law School.

Dulan teaches firearms law to students at Cooley Law School. He says, gun buy-back programs don't work.

 

"No one's ever shown and data that even shows a correlation between gun buybacks and reduction in violence," said Dulan.

 

He emphasizes that guns are used in crime, but don't cause crime.

"When there's a gun buy-back, the focus is all wrong," Dulan said.

Lansing-area gun shop owner Yvonne Evanoff-Joseph agrees.

 

"Firearms get a very bad rep, but the reality is you can use anything as a tool of destruction if that's what you're intending to do," Joseph said.

She doesn't think criminals will really turn in their guns.

 

"Chances are nine out of ten, they have warrants or there's been some kind of interaction with police that has not been positive," said Joseph.

But Mayor Bernero says his administration is talking about a gun buy-back program, an incentive to get firearms off the streets.

 

"It is our highest order. It has been. We've had a task force here at city hall and in the community working on this," Bernero said.

 

"It's in its very early stages and the city and the department are trying to work something out," said Rob Merritt, a Lansing Police Officer.

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