Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner doesn’t want to wait for Congress and President Barack Obama to hammer out new gun control measures.
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, Beckner is asking county staff tomorrow to develop and promote a regularly scheduled gun buyback program within the county. He’d also like to see the county work with businesses, the community and law enforcement to play host to an annual memorial tribute to victims of gun violence, according to the county commission’s Jan. 9 agenda.
The topic of the gun buyback program comes up for discussion at 10:30 a.m. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
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Beckner is also asking county staff to create a task force of “mental health professionals, law enforcement agencies, educators and other local partners to propose prevention and intervention services that focus on gun violence in Hillsborough County.”
"In the wake of what happened in Newtown, I think there are communities like ours whose leaders are searching for what we can do to curtail some of this gun violence," Beckner told The Tampa Tribune.
The buyback program would be funded in part by the county and also by community partners, such as businesses, the Tribune reported.
Buyback programs are becoming a discussion point in many parts of Florida and in the nation as a whole. The city of St. Petersburg and even Congress are considering such measures. U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, D-Boca Raton, wants Congress to fund $200 million for a national program, the Tribune reports.
Would the Program Work?
While many communities and law enforcement agencies throughout the country offer gun buyback programs, their effectiveness does seem to be a matter of debate.
The National Research Council has performed a study on such programs and says they don’t really lead to a drop in gun violence.
What do you think, Bloomingdale and Riverview? Should Hillsborough County pursue a gun buyback program? Or, do you think it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars? What about a national program? Would it be a good use of $200 million? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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