Gun buyback program may return to Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-For the first time in six years, Indianapolis could be looking at a new gun buyback program. It’s the latest proposal to keep violence down, as Indy creeps closer to another record year of homicides.

Rarely a week goes by that someone isn’t killed in Indianapolis with a gun. Authorities and local churches are now looking to try a new approach to get some of those firearms off the streets.

With 102 criminal homicides already this year, one local pastor says he’s working with IMPD to get guns off the streets.

“Because there is no silver bullet,” said Rev. David Greene, Sr. “We are having to be creative.”

And that creativity, said Greene, involves buying back guns from those who might use them in a crime.

“It’s not about getting 10,000 guns off the street,” said Greene. “It’s about saving lives.”

Indy is again on track to set a new record for criminal homicides in 2018. During the past four weekends, IMPD has seized 109 guns during criminal investigations.

The challenge now is getting some of those weapons off the streets voluntarily—something easier said than done.

“That’s where the incentives come in, we want to have some real good incentives that would make someone want to say hey, you really should turn that gun in,” said Greene.

Greene says those incentives might include money, gift cards or other perks like time in a recording studio for someone interested in music.

“Each one of our districts and our district councils are trying to associate themselves with people in the community who are trying to do good,” said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach on Saturday, speaking about the need for strong community partnerships.

“I think it’s wise on our city’s part to understand that we can’t leave this up to one agency,” said Greene.