Local News

Here’s how many guns got exchanged for gift cards in Boston

"A gun buyback embraces the philosophy that one fewer gun on the street is potentially many lives saved."

Some of the guns collected via the recent Boston Police Department "buyback" program. Boston Police Department

Boston police collected 35 firearms from the community Saturday via its 2022 Boston Gun Buyback, Gun for Gift Card Program.


The program offers $100 gift cards in exchange for guns from community members in an effort to “help make our communities safer.”

Under a frequently asked questions section on its website, the department notes that all guns are accepted through this program, anonymously and no questions asked.

Any guns that are turned in are sent to the department’s firearm analysis unit, which will test to determine whether the gun has been involved in any criminal activity. If the test comes back positive, the firearm will be kept as evidence, and an investigation will follow, the department noted. Otherwise, the gun will be destroyed.


“If the protocol is followed, the person dropping off the firearm will not be prosecuted for unlawful possession of that specific firearm,” the agency said on its website. “Amnesty will not be given for any other crime committed with that firearm or for any other crime committed while in possession of that firearm. If protocol is not followed, or if the Boston Police determine you are not participating in the buyback, the Boston Police may effectuate an arrest for illegal possession.”

Boston Police Department touts this program as a way to keep guns off the streets.

Under a Facebook post by the department sharing the latest results of the gun buyback program, many social media users questioned whether there is any data to prove that such programs contribute to a reduction in gun violence.

On its website, the department said that “Currently, there are no reliable statistics regarding a gun buyback’s direct effect on gun violence. That said, we do know that if a gun is turned in, it will not be used in a future crime.

“The buyback program is one part of a larger anti-gun strategy and opportunity to mobilize our community in joint efforts against gun violence,” the department noted. “This program demonstrates Boston’s ‘Call to Action’ for safer city streets. A gun buyback embraces the philosophy that one fewer gun on the street is potentially many lives saved.”


The most recent event had six drop-off locations – two in Dorchester, one in Roslindale, one in East Boston, one in South Boston, and one in the South End.

“We thank the community for working with us to take guns off the streets,” the department wrote on Facebook. “We encourage the public to reach out to us regarding any firearm-related information and concerns.”

To learn more about the Gun for Gift Card Program, visit bpdnews.com/bgb.


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