PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State Rep. Ed Gainey calls this planned gun buyback initiative a way for the community to fight back against violence.

In the City of Pittsburgh last year, 118 stolen guns were used in crimes. While it may not stop the thefts from happening, local politicians are hoping that a gun buyback may get some of those illegal guns off the streets.

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“The more illegal guns we get off the streets, the more lives we save,” Gainey said.

“This is not the over-all answer to everything,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “We understand this is a complex problem. But we feel like this could be one tool in the toolbox to take some of the illegal guns and weaponry off the streets.”

State Rep. Ed Gainey and Fitzgerald announced that funding is now available to have a gun buy back in the near future. Realizing that criminals may not come forward, but others may.

“Loved ones that know that there’s some guns that shouldn’t be in the home, they may want them out and they may want to take action,” Gainey said. “And this is a way, creating a vehicle for them to do that.”

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Here in the county and city, there have been several different gun buyback programs in the past where people could turn guns in anonymously for cash or gift cards.

Fitzgerald said they were extremely successful, but do to a lack of funding haven’t been held for a while.

Rainey is hoping this becomes an annual program.

“The one thing we can’t do is do nothing,” Gainey said. “Do nothing is not an answer. We need to look at the tools we have in the toolkits and use each and every one of them so that we can make the city of Pittsburgh a better place.”

Again plans are still in the works for a date, time and place once those details are available.

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Heather Abraham