Cleveland Police Want to Buy Your Guns Tomorrow

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The Cleveland Police Department's annual gun buyback program is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow at the goofily named Public Safety Central (2001 Payne Ave.).

It's an annual thing that typically nets several hundred firearms. Cleveland police dole out $100 in gift cards for operable handguns and $200 in gift cards for operable semi-automatic weapons. They'll also throw in tickets to upcoming Cavs and Monsters games. Hooray?

Given last fall's count of just over 300 firearms sold, that amounts to at least $30,000 in gift cards (often for Target, gas stations or grocery stores).

Studies and experts resoundingly write off the programs (held all across the country) as straw men in the arguments for gun control. It's not surprising at all that reported or would-be criminals might not have any interest in selling their arms to the local police department.

The mainstay of expert opinion on the matter remains a 2004 National Research Council report. In essence, the stated goals of these programs often conflict with the outcome.

"As a result of the Gun Buy-Back, someone’s life will be saved," Police Chief Michael McGrath says. It's unclear where the empirical data rests for that one, though. It's also just a wee bit unseemly that this event comes hot on the heels of the chief dishing out punishment for supervisors' roles in last fall's chase and shootout.

There's also the Ohio Revised Code's allowance for independent collectors to set up shop alongside the cops tomorrow morning. As long as the NRA-supported profiteers aren't "pulling a Captain America" and blocking traffic, they're within their rights to offer cash for firearms. No background check is needed.

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— I'll curate some public comment on this throughout the day via this post, our Facebook page and our Twitter account. Here's the first response we've received:


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