Hamilton council supports gun buyback program

News May 27, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When community activist Matthew Green ran last fall to replace Ward 3 councillor Bernie Morelli, his top priority was to make the area’s streets safer.

Despite his good intentions, Green, along with his fellow residents in the neighbourhood, watched in horror during a running gun battle along Main Street East May 17 that damaged vehicles, windows and buildings.

It prompted Green to host a community rally May 28 at J.C. Beemer Park on Victoria Street in support of Ward 3. It also led Green to introduce a motion at the May 27 council requesting staff to investigate how to hold a gun amnesty and buyback program for illegal guns.

“The recent gun shootings remind me why I registered as a candidate,” said Green, who topped a field of 14 other candidates in last fall’s municipal election to win. “There is still a real issue of street safety.”

At about 6 p.m. two men shot at each other at Main Street East and East Avenue on May 17. Police are still investigating the incident. A few hours later another shooting occurred at King and Ashley streets.

Green said the Proud to be Ward 3 rally, starting at 6 p.m.  is in support of the community, and for residents to stand up against the violence that have stigmatized their neighbourhood.

Even though Hamilton Police Service held a gun amnesty program last year, collecting 374 guns and almost 20,000 rounds of ammunition, he says the city needs to offer a financial incentive to encourage people to bring in their illegal firearms. He says an incentive-laden program by Toronto Police recouped 2,000 firearms.

The first buyback program was initiated by the Baltimore Police Service in 1974. Over the years various North America, Australia, Brazil and other countries have used the program to collect illegal weapons. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012,  Los Angeles offered a buyback program that provided pre-paid credit and grocery cards; Boston offered $200 Target gift cards, collecting 1,000 firearms; and in August 2012, Detroit Police spent $16,82o for 365 guns, including six assault weapons and a number of sawed off shotguns.

Green suggests providing $50 per firearm, with a four gun limit and $100 for premier hand guns. He proposes a budget of $50,000.

Green’s motion, supported unanimously by council, will also be reviewed by the Hamilton Police Service.

Even though the Ward 3 councillor has received criticism for proposing the gun amnesty program that it won’t do anything to prevent criminals from keeping their guns, he said Hamilton has to do something.

To the critics, Green asks “Where do you think the street guns come from?

“We need to do something with our municipal powers,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who caused a recent stir with his idea to have the city somehow ban guns within its borders, backed Green’s motion.

“I would like to take it one step further,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor said when he heard about the gun play in downtown Hamilton “it shocked me to my core. There is no rational reason to have guns in an urban area.”

Eisenberger said that gun violence isn’t just a lower city issue. He said the gun violence on the Sunday afternoon could have occurred anywhere in Hamilton.

“We need to take action,” he said.

 

Hamilton council supports gun buyback program

News May 27, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When community activist Matthew Green ran last fall to replace Ward 3 councillor Bernie Morelli, his top priority was to make the area’s streets safer.

Despite his good intentions, Green, along with his fellow residents in the neighbourhood, watched in horror during a running gun battle along Main Street East May 17 that damaged vehicles, windows and buildings.

It prompted Green to host a community rally May 28 at J.C. Beemer Park on Victoria Street in support of Ward 3. It also led Green to introduce a motion at the May 27 council requesting staff to investigate how to hold a gun amnesty and buyback program for illegal guns.

“The recent gun shootings remind me why I registered as a candidate,” said Green, who topped a field of 14 other candidates in last fall’s municipal election to win. “There is still a real issue of street safety.”

At about 6 p.m. two men shot at each other at Main Street East and East Avenue on May 17. Police are still investigating the incident. A few hours later another shooting occurred at King and Ashley streets.

Green said the Proud to be Ward 3 rally, starting at 6 p.m.  is in support of the community, and for residents to stand up against the violence that have stigmatized their neighbourhood.

Even though Hamilton Police Service held a gun amnesty program last year, collecting 374 guns and almost 20,000 rounds of ammunition, he says the city needs to offer a financial incentive to encourage people to bring in their illegal firearms. He says an incentive-laden program by Toronto Police recouped 2,000 firearms.

The first buyback program was initiated by the Baltimore Police Service in 1974. Over the years various North America, Australia, Brazil and other countries have used the program to collect illegal weapons. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012,  Los Angeles offered a buyback program that provided pre-paid credit and grocery cards; Boston offered $200 Target gift cards, collecting 1,000 firearms; and in August 2012, Detroit Police spent $16,82o for 365 guns, including six assault weapons and a number of sawed off shotguns.

Green suggests providing $50 per firearm, with a four gun limit and $100 for premier hand guns. He proposes a budget of $50,000.

Green’s motion, supported unanimously by council, will also be reviewed by the Hamilton Police Service.

Even though the Ward 3 councillor has received criticism for proposing the gun amnesty program that it won’t do anything to prevent criminals from keeping their guns, he said Hamilton has to do something.

To the critics, Green asks “Where do you think the street guns come from?

“We need to do something with our municipal powers,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who caused a recent stir with his idea to have the city somehow ban guns within its borders, backed Green’s motion.

“I would like to take it one step further,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor said when he heard about the gun play in downtown Hamilton “it shocked me to my core. There is no rational reason to have guns in an urban area.”

Eisenberger said that gun violence isn’t just a lower city issue. He said the gun violence on the Sunday afternoon could have occurred anywhere in Hamilton.

“We need to take action,” he said.

 

Hamilton council supports gun buyback program

News May 27, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When community activist Matthew Green ran last fall to replace Ward 3 councillor Bernie Morelli, his top priority was to make the area’s streets safer.

Despite his good intentions, Green, along with his fellow residents in the neighbourhood, watched in horror during a running gun battle along Main Street East May 17 that damaged vehicles, windows and buildings.

It prompted Green to host a community rally May 28 at J.C. Beemer Park on Victoria Street in support of Ward 3. It also led Green to introduce a motion at the May 27 council requesting staff to investigate how to hold a gun amnesty and buyback program for illegal guns.

“The recent gun shootings remind me why I registered as a candidate,” said Green, who topped a field of 14 other candidates in last fall’s municipal election to win. “There is still a real issue of street safety.”

At about 6 p.m. two men shot at each other at Main Street East and East Avenue on May 17. Police are still investigating the incident. A few hours later another shooting occurred at King and Ashley streets.

Green said the Proud to be Ward 3 rally, starting at 6 p.m.  is in support of the community, and for residents to stand up against the violence that have stigmatized their neighbourhood.

Even though Hamilton Police Service held a gun amnesty program last year, collecting 374 guns and almost 20,000 rounds of ammunition, he says the city needs to offer a financial incentive to encourage people to bring in their illegal firearms. He says an incentive-laden program by Toronto Police recouped 2,000 firearms.

The first buyback program was initiated by the Baltimore Police Service in 1974. Over the years various North America, Australia, Brazil and other countries have used the program to collect illegal weapons. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012,  Los Angeles offered a buyback program that provided pre-paid credit and grocery cards; Boston offered $200 Target gift cards, collecting 1,000 firearms; and in August 2012, Detroit Police spent $16,82o for 365 guns, including six assault weapons and a number of sawed off shotguns.

Green suggests providing $50 per firearm, with a four gun limit and $100 for premier hand guns. He proposes a budget of $50,000.

Green’s motion, supported unanimously by council, will also be reviewed by the Hamilton Police Service.

Even though the Ward 3 councillor has received criticism for proposing the gun amnesty program that it won’t do anything to prevent criminals from keeping their guns, he said Hamilton has to do something.

To the critics, Green asks “Where do you think the street guns come from?

“We need to do something with our municipal powers,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who caused a recent stir with his idea to have the city somehow ban guns within its borders, backed Green’s motion.

“I would like to take it one step further,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor said when he heard about the gun play in downtown Hamilton “it shocked me to my core. There is no rational reason to have guns in an urban area.”

Eisenberger said that gun violence isn’t just a lower city issue. He said the gun violence on the Sunday afternoon could have occurred anywhere in Hamilton.

“We need to take action,” he said.