In March 2016, the city of Surrey, British Columbia brought in a gun amnesty program under the premise that it would decrease the number of gang shootings happening as a result of a violent drug turf war that was underway.
The city was responding to a spike in shootings with more than 30 occurring in the first three months of the year alone. The program aims to encourage people to turn in guns that are in their possession illegally, no questions asked and with no punishment of any kind.
It’s also aimed at legal gun owners that aren’t involved in crimes but who may have expired paperwork or may want to get rid of old guns they no longer want.
The problem with these programs is they allow the police to claim they’ve taken more guns off the street, guns belonging to law abiding citizens, without really reducing shootings.
In fact, stats show the number of shootings in Surrey are up since the amnesty program was implemented with 56 confirmed shootings in 2015, while in 2016 there were 58.
The gun amnesty program isn’t working and it’s ridiculous to think that criminals, who don’t follow any other laws or rules, are suddenly going to give up their guns because the police are offering to let them off the hook with no consequences.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Surrey, Linda Hepner, continues to call for more laws and consequences for firing guns in the city-more laws, that only legal gun owners will abide by.