Grand Rapids has seen more homicides so far this year than it did in all of 2019. That’s prompted the Grand Rapids Police Department to propose a gun buy-back program.
There have been 471 gunfire incidents so far this year and 22 homicides compared to 17 for all of last year.
Raul Alvarez is the Public Information Officer for the department. He says the total request that will be presented to the City Commission is $20,000 with $8,000 going to community engagement to see how to launch the program successfully.
“In addition to actually having the funds to, quote unquote, purchase those guns from individuals,” Alvarez said.
He noted the increase in gun crimes prompted the proposal for the first gun buy-back program in the city since the 1990s.
“We want to get as many guns off the streets as we can, especially the illegal ones which we know a lot of- again, with the gun violence that we’ve seen, we want to get those off the streets,” he said.
If approved, the department will pay between $50 and $200 for illegal firearms or legal ones that residents just want to get out of their house.