The Flint Police Department collected 68 assault-style rifles at a gun bounty event on Saturday, September 23 at Cathedral of Faith Church. Flint residents were able to turn in weapons with no questions asked, for up to $500 cash based on the condition of the weapon.
Unlike most gun buyback programs, Flint’s gun bounty program targets the types of weapons that cause the most harm and offers the residents the street value of weapons that are in working condition. Flint’s program does not accept inoperable guns that do not pose an immediate threat to public safety.
The gun bounty program is made possible by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. All guns collected will be incinerated, thanks to a partnership with Michigan State Police. The City of Flint administration’s policy is to never resell weapons.
“Gun violence continues to cause enormous grief and trauma, and I will not allow our city government to profit from our community’s pain by reselling weapons that can be turned against Flint residents,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “I am thankful to all of the residents who surrendered their weapons. Let’s continue to work together to prevent the loss of life in Flint.”
The gun bounty program is just one element of a holistic approach to reducing violent crime in Flint. In 2021, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley declared a gun violence emergency and followed it up with a set of public safety initiatives.
Through grant funding, the Flint Police Department has implemented a cold case unit, a witness protection program, overtime pay for officers, and 24/7 operation of its intelligence center.