Chicago, like many large cities around the country, sponsors a successful gun buyback program meant to incentivize owners of dangerous weapons to turn their guns into authorities. The program’s no-questions-asked policy allows for anyone to drop off a gun — no matter the condition or circumstances surrounding how it was obtained — in exchange for prepaid Visa cards worth $100 per gun and $10 per BB gun or air gun. The program, called “Don’t Kill a Dream, Save a Life,” aims to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on the streets and in households.
But Guns Save Life exploited the “Don’t Kill a Dream, Save a Life” initiative and used the program to help fund an NRA-sponsored summer shooting camp for young children by turning in a collection of old, rusted and broken guns and BB guns collected by members through the program in exchange for $6,240 in taxpayer money.
John Boch, the president of the group, took to a pro-gun blog to gloat about their trip to Chicago:
I’m proud to be president of this fine organization and couldn’t be happier about what our members accomplished in Chicago on Saturday. We collected these guns in anticipation of this foolish event orchestrated by big city gun bigots, executed our plan to sell them and used the gift cards to help teach tomorrow’s gun owners safe and responsible use of firearms.
This is not the first time the group has abused Chicago’s efforts to reduce violent crime and homicides. In 2007, the group made a similar trip and returned with $1,700 according to another post written by Boch on the pro-gun forum thehighroad.org.
Chicago officials, made aware of the group’s actions, responded angrily. “We host the gun turn-in event on an annual basis to encourage residents to turn in their guns so we can take guns off the street and it’s unfortunate that this group is abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities,” police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said in a statement.