‘Special kind of stupid’: Philly lawmakers tell law-abiding citizens to check homes and turn in guns

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With another surge in gun violence in Philadelphia, local police, government leaders and others are now calling for residents to turn in their firearms in order to save lives.

The “Home Gun-Check Campaign” was launched this weekend as 20 shootings in the city over the weekend left four people dead and 15 others wounded. While it was not being called a buyback program, the effort called for law-abiding residents of the Pennsylvania city to relinquish their guns in order to combat the escalating violence.

“Are people really this dumb?” President Donald Trump’s son reacted in a tweet to the news report, calling it a “special kind of stupid.”

“Law-abiding citizens should turn in their guns and have no means to defend themselves while outlaw criminals who have been breaking the law will keep weapons and continue their criminal ways with a leg up,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote.

But the ill-timed program announced last week went ahead this weekend, after its merits were touted by supporters, with two churches in the area being designated as drop-off locations.

“Get those guns, run in that room, see what’s in there, find out what is being hidden in your house, take it out and turn it in,” City Councilmember Cindy Bass said at a news conference held outside of Police Headquarters just days before the deadly weekend unfolded, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Community members who submit firearms will not be asked to produce identification,” Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said. “In addition, the submission of a firearm will not trigger an investigation of the person who relinquished it.”

Rev. Gregory Holsten from Janes Memorial United Methodist Church added that “you can possibly save their life and the lives of other people.”

And Councilmember Curtis Jones declared that, “You might be saving your child’s life because gun violence is as dangerous as coronavirus.”

Emergency hearings were held last week by the city council to address the alarming rise in gun violence.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

The number of homicides in the city in 2020 soared to 261 as of Thursday night. That’s a 29% increase from the same period last year and the highest number of killings in nearly three decades, when 275 homicides were recorded for the same period in 1991. Most homicides result from shootings.

 

The police commissioner called the gun violence “disturbing” and “disheartening,” according to Fox 29 Philadelphia.

“We’re doing everything that we can to make sure that we resolve these matters in an expeditious manner so we can hopefully get ahead of anything that could occur as a result of this,” Outlaw said Sunday after another rash of shootings.

A block party with more than 200 people attending devolved into chaos as five people, including a 16-year-old boy, were wounded with non-life threatening injuries when gunfire broke out, according to Outlaw, who also noted that the victims may have had nothing to do with the block party.


(Source: CBS Philly)

Investigators reportedly recovered 28 AR-15 rounds and 10 40-caliber rounds at the scene. Earlier the same night, a man in his 20s was killed when he was shot in the head at a different location.

As local officials scratched their heads and threw up their arms over the spike in violence, the response to launch a home gun check was slammed on social media.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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