Creating Peace At $53 A Gun

By WGBH News

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Nov. 30, 2011

BOSTON — The Goods for Guns firearm buyback program in Worcester, Mass. has taken more than 2,000 firearms off the streets over the past 10 years. Dr. Michael Hirsh, the surgeon in chief of the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, founded the Worcester buyback in 2002.
 
He told WGBH News host Callie Crossley on Nov. 29 that moral issues aside, the program makes good financial sense.
 
“We’ve collected these 2,056 weapons at a cost of about $110,000. So, that’s about $53 a gun. And the $110,000 is less than the hospital costs of three gunshot wound victims,” he said. “So, if even three of these 2,000 weapons had caused an injury, we ended up saving the medical system money.”
 
Hirsh said anyone can turn in a firearm, with no questions asked, at the Worcester Police Headquarters on Dec. 3 and Dec. 9. in exchange for a Wegmans gift card. No gun gets exactly $53: The gift card value is $25 for a long rifle, $50 for a pistol or revolver and $75 for an automatic weapon.

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