Opposition Mounts Against Bill Proposing State Gun ‘Buyback’ Program

Illinois lawmaker proposes firearm buyback program for guns and ammunition

State Representative Cyril Nichols, a Democrat from Chicago, is sponsoring House Bill 4681. This bill aims to incentivize residents to surrender their operable firearms to the Illinois State Police by offering a $100 reward.

According to John Boch, Executive Director of Guns Save Life, he believes that the program will not be able to put an end to gun violence.

“These individuals are older adults who abide by the law and willingly surrender their unwanted firearms,” Boch commented while describing the demographic of participants in gun buybacks across the state. “It is evident that the younger generation, who do not possess gray hair and do not exhibit the appearance or behavior of potential criminals, are not the ones obtaining guns from such events. It is highly unlikely that individuals from the criminal underworld will be present at these venues.”

According to Boch, $100 does not reflect the market rate, especially when cities like Bloomington are offering $500. He emphasized that legislators in Springfield should anticipate receiving a substantial amount of worthless items.

According to Kelvin Coburn, a professional auditor, he believes that the Illinois State Police is facing challenges in effectively handling and processing firearms due to administrative and staffing issues. He points out that the proposed law suggests that the responsibility of managing turned-in firearms would be entrusted to the ISP.

According to the Auditor General’s 2022 inventory report, the ISP had 719 missing items valued at $1.5 million. This is a decrease from the previous year’s audit in 2021, which reported 1,413 missing items worth almost $2.5 million. The audit also highlighted the fact that the ISP lacks a policy for identifying equipment that is at risk of being stolen.

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According to Coburn, the state police are currently overwhelmed and unable to handle the situation. He suggests giving them the chance to hire more staff in order to address the issue. Coburn also mentions the importance of referring to the audit report for further information.

Boch agreed with Coburn’s statement, emphasizing that ISP is currently facing a staffing problem.

According to Boch, there is a growing concern about the increasing workload and decreasing staff at the organization. Not only have they unintentionally lost valuable equipment, including computers and firearms, but the major worry is how they will manage to handle all of this with limited manpower.

The ISP spokesperson stated that the agency refrains from commenting on legislation that is still under review.

According to Coburn, state legislators lack respect and understanding for their constituents.

According to Coburn, politicians often fail to involve their constituents in important decision-making processes. He believes that the approach of simply collecting guns from poor neighborhoods without considering the opinions and needs of the people living there is condescending and ultimately ineffective. Coburn views this as yet another misguided idea originating from Springfield.

According to Coburn, the buyback program will not effectively reduce crime.

Despite attempts to contact Nichols’ office for comment, The Center Square did not receive a response.

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