FLINT, Michigan—The City of Flint has taken 384 guns off the streets permanently, fulfilling Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s pledge to stop auctioning off illegal weapons.
City of Flint Police delivered the guns to an incineration facility today, the same day Chief Terence Green officially takes office.
The huge load of weapons were going to be auctioned off, a practice started in 2017 under the previous administration — but Mayor Neeley announced an immediate stop to the practice during a press conference on July 29 with then-Chief Phil Hart. Last year, the city put 1,200 confiscated guns back in circulation through auctions.
“No longer will the City of Flint be an arms dealer,” Mayor Neeley said. “Selling off illegal guns to the highest bidder is simply wrong. It’s unconscionable to think that the City of Flint, where we have been harmed by so much gun violence, would participate in any activity that puts guns back on the street.”
Chief Green begins his appointment today. A Flint resident and a Flint native, Green is a decorated police officer whose previous experience includes serving as commander of the Genesee County drug enforcement team. Most recently, he served as Mt. Morris Township’s police chief.
“I am proud of our city for taking this strong stance as part of our overall fight to reduce gun violence,” Chief Green said. “It’s good to be home and doing police work in the city I know and love.”
Last year, the guns brought in an average of roughly $150 each.
According to a report released in September 2019 by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, gun violence costs the United States $229 billion annually. In Michigan, gun violence costs $6.9 billion — $696 for every resident, according to the report. Based on that average, the cost of gun violence in the city of Flint is at least triple the revenues of the gun auctions.