Payne, Jr. Reintroduces the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act

July 28, 2017
Press Release

Payne, Jr. Reintroduces the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act

Washington, D.C.Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) today introduced the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act of 2017, a bill that increases incentives to sell back guns used in crimes around the country, provides a stimulus to the economy, and recycles the sold guns into environmentally-friendly objects.

The Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act 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.

“We owe it to the communities we have sworn to protect to pursue every opportunity to reduce gun violence in our neighborhoods,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “Although no one piece of legislation will eliminate all gun violence, this bill will get guns off the streets and keep them out of the hands of people who wish to cause harm. If we can get one gun off the street, if we can save one life, then we have to take action.”

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.

However, the debit cards cannot be used to purchase firearms or ammunition and cannot be redeemed for cash. The system 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 two years, or both.

Finally, the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act is unique in that it is environmentally friendly, as it will designate 10 percent of the grant money toward recycling of the guns traded in.