(Chicago, Illinois) The Champaign County pro-gun Guns Save Life group is cashing in on the Chicago gun trade-in program by hauling worthless and rusty firearms into the city and walking away with thousands of dollars in gift cards.
A spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department said the group is abusing the program.
"We just took advantage of Chicago's induced, artificial market on rusty junk," said John Boch, the group's president.Money received by the Guns Save Life group is used to purchase ammunition and firearms for a youth program that teaches gun safety and marksmanship.
The city collected 5,500 weapons at city churches June 23. Police handed out out a $100 gift card per firearm and a $10 gift card for a BB gun or replica.
Guns Save Life has done the same thing twice before, and most of the weapons are of little value and are collecting dust in the closet of members or relatives. Boch said the guns were so beaten and worn that one of them, a shotgun, broke while being inspected by a police officer. The group did not get a gift card for that gun.
"Some of them are about 100 years old," he said. "They are rusty. Some have been in fires. It's just junk."
Frankly, I suggest that gun trade-in programs are generally just feel-good political news events and easy dumping grounds for weapons used in crimes.