DENVER — Four years after a small group of community pastors created a Denver gun buyback program, organizers in Colorado don’t expect to offer the event again anytime soon in the Mile High city.
The focus on the Colorado program comes on the same day California reported receiving dozens of weapons through a similar program. On Wednesday, the city of Los Angeles moved-up it’s annual gun buyback program in response to the December 14 shooting in a Connecticut elementary school. The program, which trades up to two hundred dollars in grocery store gift cards, has been part of the LAPD’s violence outreach since 2009.
Long before the Connecticut and Aurora massacre, the Denver Police Department teamed up with local groups who offered roughly fifty dollars cash for handguns and other firearms. Now years later, the same organizers don’t believe the program will work in Colorado.
“I don’t think a gun buyback is the answer, but I do think it brings attention to the issue of guns in the urban community,” said Pastor Reginald Holmes, the organizer of the 2008 gun buyback program. The event, which organizers admit only brought in a handful of weapons, is not expected to return anytime soon.
Pastor Holmes believes the program, which did not receive widespread support from political leaders, does not help with the collection of assault rifles – which have come under scrutiny since the attack in Connecticut.