GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For just the third time in the city’s history, Grand Rapids will hold a gun buyback.

City Commissioners voted Tuesday to set aside $40,000 for the program. The City’s SAFE task Force, charged with coming up with ways to reduce violence in the city, suggested the buyback. The City Commission Fiscal Committee approved the price tag.

Grand Rapids’ last buybacks were held in 2020.

“Took over 300 guns off the street that people brought back,” 1st Ward City Commissioner Jon O’Connor, who chairs the Fiscal Committee, said.

Under the yet-to-be-scheduled buyback, $200 will be paid for assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns. Revolvers, shotguns and rifles will be worth $100. Black powder firearms will be worth $50.

Grand Rapids held its first buyback in the 1990s. Similar events have become popular in cities across the country as a way to combat gun violence. But there are differing opinions among commissioners about their value.

“The hope in the future is that we focus more and more on things that are evidence-based, that have a track record of being impactful,” 2nd Ward Commissioner Joe Jones said.

A 2021 study titled “Have US Gun Buyback Programs Misfired?” suggests the programs have been ineffective at deterring gun crime, firearm-related homicides or firearm-related suicides in either the short-term or long run.

“We will, I think, continue to take a good hard look at what’s happening throughout the country and seeing if we can find more ways to address the issue, because it very much is an issue,” Jones said.

But O’Connor defended gun buybacks for the information they provide, like where to focus other resources like gun owner education.

“Do people keep their guns locked up like they should? Or is there some advocacy we should be doing on how to better get people to keep them secure?” O’Connor explained.