Payne, Jr. Introduces Gun Buyback Legislation

February 13, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On February 14, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) introduced the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act of 2019, a proactive bill to help reduce gun violence. Safer Neighborhoods provides incentive for people to sell back their firearms through local programs funded by federal grants and subgrants. The bill is an economic a stimulus that removes firearms from circulation and helps law enforcement solve crimes.


Safer Neighborhoods provides a two-year, $360 million grant that allows the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director of Bureau of Justice Assistance to distribute smart debit cards to state and local governments, as well as gun dealers, who can then distribute the cards to gun owners in exchange for firearms.


“For far too long, Congress has been paralyzed by inaction on gun violence,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) “On the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, I decided to take action. Safer Neighborhoods is a proactive bill that will help end violence by getting guns off the streets. Gun buyback bills have been popular law enforcement and public safety tools across the country, but the money just hasn’t been there for a widespread program. Safer Neighborhoods will allow communities across the country to create gun buyback programs and stimulate their local economies.”


The program’s debit cards will provide gun owners with funds 25 percent above the market value of the guns traded in, based on an assessment conducted by the Director of Bureau of Justice Assistance, and will be valid for two years. Sales on individual firearms are expected to range in price anywhere between $40 and $400 depending on alterations, condition, age, and model of the firearm. Consumers can then spend the money on their debit cards and help stimulate the local economy.


The smart prepaid cards cannot be used to purchase firearms or ammunition, and they cannot be exchanged for cash. The cards will automatically notify dealers that a purchaser is attempting to use the cards to buy guns. If they violate this provision of the law, both the purchaser and the dealer will be responsible for repaying the government in the amount of the gun sale or will be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both. And firearms turned in through Safer Neighborhoods will be run through law enforcement databases to check for their use in a crime. Guns that are not flagged will be recycled.


Safer Neighborhoods is a win for everyone,” Rep. Payne, Jr. continued. “People who want to safely get rid of their firearms will be able to do so. They’ll then spend money in their communities, which will help out local businesses. There will be fewer guns in circulation, which will help reduce crime. And law enforcement will have another tool to identify firearms used in crimes. It’s time that Congress takes action. Although no single policy will solve gun violence in the United States, Safer Neighborhoods is a step in the right direction.”


Click here for a PDF of the bill.