Walsh, who took office last month, said he was still developing a
specific plan, including how much would be paid and how collection
would work, with the city's newly appointed police commissioner,
"It's a short-term solution," Walsh told reporters on Saturday. "We
need help from the community, we need help from these people to let
us know where these guns are, who has these guns, so we can get them
off the street."
Boston has seen a spike in fatal shootings this year, with eight
firearms homicides reported as of February 2, up from two for the
same period last year, according to Boston Police Department data.
The figure does not include Friday's shooting of the 9-year-old boy,
whom authorities have not identified.
Other major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles and
Philadelphia, run periodic buybacks, which aim to reduce the number
of guns in circulation and to decrease accidental shootings and
theft of guns, which are then used in crimes.
The buybacks are not without controversy. Last year, Arizona
lawmakers tried to prohibit cities from destroying guns collected in
buybacks, saying they should be resold to raise revenue, a measure
that advocates of the buybacks argued ran counter to their goal of
having fewer guns in circulation.
Advocates of gun rights, which are protected by the Second Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution, argue that increased gun ownership would
reduce crime by causing criminals to fear the consequences of
[to top of second column]
Walsh last week joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization
founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Walsh's
predecessor, Thomas Menino. Bloomberg's successor, Bill de Blasio,
has also joined the group, which lobbies for restrictions on gun
(Reporting by Scott Malone;
editing by Leslie Adler)
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