By Jill Terreri
The city collected 764 guns during its latest guy buyback program, which cost $47,991 in staff time and payouts, according to an audit from Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder.
On May 4, at seven churches around the city, police officers collected 273 non-working weapons, 268 handguns, 215 rifles and eight assault weapons. People who returned guns are asked no questions about the weapons, according to city protocol. They were issued debit cards loaded with cash, on a scale based on the type of gun, from $10 for an antique gun to $100 for an assault weapon. Payouts totaled $34,340, and were funded with assets the city collects during drug investigations.
The other major cost of the buyback operation is police personnel, which cost $11,917, and pay for auditors who monitor the buybacks, which was $1,734.
The audit doesn't raise any major issues with the program, and recommends that the city eliminate sites where only a handful of guns are collected, and improve control of the guns from the time they are collected to the time they are destroyed.
The audit does describe the process of melting down the guns, which auditors were able to observe for the first time. The guns were loaded onto two cars that were going to be destroyed, at the Gerdau Ameristeel Recycling Plant on Aug. 6. (Schroeder's FaceBook page has photos and a video.)
"After loading all guns in the vehicles, the vehicles were crushed and loaded into the automobile shredder. Minutes later both the autos and guns were shred into small unrecognizable pieces. The pieces will be recycled into various steel products. In total 2,180 lbs. of guns were recycled."
taggedByron Brown | City of Buffalo | city spending | Mark Schroeder