Do Gun Buybacks Work?

May 3, 2013 Updated May 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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May 3, 2013 Updated May 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM EDT

Since Buffalo's gun buyback program began six years ago 3,600 guns have been taken off the streets of Buffalo. But would those guns ever have been used in a violent crime? The U.S. Department of Justice says it's highly unlikely.

Nonetheless, residents can receive anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the type of gun turned in.

"This is just one of numerous crime prevention strategies," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

But research from the DOJ indicates this strategy doesn't work citing that gun buybacks are too small to have any impact, the guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime and that criminals can easily get replacement guns.

Even with Buffalo's buyback program in full effect statistics show homicides in the jumped by close to 40 percent from 2011 to 2012, the vast majority the result of shootings.

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez claims the buyback is ineffective and doesn't address the real issues,"Another aspect of it that I'm concerned about is the fact that these weapons are taken, they are destroyed without any questions being asked they don't do any testing. They could be used to solve murders at the very least."

But whether the gun comes from a grandmother, "We've had grandmothers tell us that there were licensed guns from their deceased husband," said Mayor Brown.

Or a girlfriend, "We've had girlfriends whose boyfriends were in prison who found guns," he finished.

It doesn't matter to Mayor Brown it's just one less gun on the streets.

The DOJ cited a 1997 program in Australia that was a success. That program was large-scale with an emphasis on semi-automatic weapons. It also incorporated a ban on certain firearms and included a national registration and licensing program.

Before that initiative Australia had on average one mass shooting a year but in the 15 years since there have been none