ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Chief of Police is raising $50,000 in donations to fund a gun buyback program.
Chief Sam Dotson says he has already received a $10,000 private donation from Doug Allbrecht of the Police Foundation, and is working with Mayor Francis Slay’s office to raise the rest of the money in the next couple months.
“I think those programs have value,” Dotson said. “As I’ve said publicly, the proliferation of guns in some neighborhoods and illegal guns in the hands of criminals are problematic. Anytime we have an opportunity to take guns off the street, I am absolutely 100 percent for it.”
The chief says he wants to get guns of all sorts turned in. “Legal guns and illegal guns. I’m a big proponent of legal guns that are stolen become illegal guns. If I can reduce the supply, if I can reduce the inventory in any fashion, I think it’s a good use of donation dollars.”
In 2007, Dotson says more than 500 guns were acquired through a gun buyback program, and in 2008, almost a thousand. Critics, including some law enforcement officials around the country, say criminals don’t turn in guns, only law-abiding people do and there is no way to prove that the guns turned in would have been used to commit a crime.
“As we look around and as we send officers out into the streets and into the homes on a daily basis, it has to be my job to take every opportunity we have to take guns off the street,” Dotson said.