MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office announced a new program that turns unwanted guns into gift cards.
Sheriff Kalvin Barrett hopes Dane County’s Gift Cards for Guns program will help keep the community safe, but experts have their doubts.
Madison's latest homicide caused by gunfire happened on July 22, 2022 and records show Madison Police responded to 239 shots fired incidents in 2021. Gun violence is just one of the reasons MPD is partnering with the Dane County Sheriff's Office to buy back guns.
"Our target audience is everyone, anyone and everyone and we just want to reduce the accessibility of unwanted weapons in the homes of individuals that have young children and those who may be suffering from mental illness," said Sheriff Barrett.
The Dane County Sheriff's Office will take your unwanted guns in exchange for gift cards, no questions asked thanks to a $50,000 grant.
Gift cards for basic necessities like groceries and gas will be offered for the following:
· Assault Rifles - $250
· Ghost Guns - $200
· Handguns/Rifles/Shotguns - $100
· Revolvers - $50
· BB Guns, Pellet Guns or facsimile firearms - $10-$25
"We want to provide community members with a safe way to hand over unwanted firearms and receive something in return," said Sheriff Barrett.
Experts say the effectiveness of the gun buyback that will happen at the Alliant Energy Center depends on the goal.
"In terms of showing that it's helping to reduce crime, that is something that has not shown to be effective," said Dr. Keith Taylor, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Law with John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
26-year NYPD veteran turned professor, Dr. Taylor doubts gift cards will incentivize violent offenders.
"Criminals who obtain these guns illegally, who use them for their criminal enterprises, they are not going to be attracted to getting rid of that source of income," said Dr. Taylor.
"Is this going to be the end-all for all gun violence? No, this is done, this program has done in addition to what we're doing in our community," said Sheriff Barrett.
Dane County's gun buyback is on August 13th at the Alliant Energy Center.
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