Join Club

County mulls allowing gun buyback programs that give out cash or gift cards for unwanted guns

Arlington police officers (staff photo by James Jarvis)

The Arlington County Board is considering whether to authorize county-run firearm buyback events.

Buybacks would provide residents with cash, gift cards, vouchers or other payment in exchange for guns, according to a proposed ordinance. The voluntary events would be open to residents of Arlington and Falls Church.

The Arlington County Board on Saturday authorized a request to advertise the potential amendment to the county code. The item is scheduled to return to the Board for discussion on March 16.

“The purpose of this ordinance is to create a safer community and prevent firearm violence by creating a mechanism by which citizens can surrender unwanted or unneeded firearms,” the ordinance says.

The change would give the County Manager the authority to establish a buyback program. Police officers would oversee buyback events and Arlington’s chief of police would be responsible for destroying the guns.

Each event would require 15 officers, each of whom would receive $75 per hour in overtime pay, according to a county report.

The county could enter into agreements with private entities to fund or sponsor this program.

“The County may issue receipts, certificates or vouchers in exchange for surrendered firearms, which may be accepted or exchanged for things of value by any entity wishing to sponsor or otherwise participate in the firearms buyback program,” the proposed amendment says.

People could ask that a dealer auction off their firearm instead of destroying it but the county could deny this request. Machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and sawed-off rifles would not be destroyed, nor would firearms that federal law prohibits transferring.

The ordinance notes that the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America collaborated with county officials on this initiative. The group did not respond to a request for comment.

Gun buybacks are a well-established concept both regionally and nationally.

Last year in Prince George’s County, two mega-churches sponsored a buyback program in collaboration with the county police department. The Interfaith GVP Network likewise is scheduled to sponsor an event next month in Montgomery County.

Buyback events also took place in Richmond last year and in 2022.

These events, which date back at least to the 1960s, often allow people to hand over both legal and illegal guns with no questions asked. Empirical evidence for their effectiveness is limited but proponents argue that any effort to curb violence by removing unwanted guns from a community is worthwhile.

Recent Stories

An unusual crash blocked lanes on I-66 Friday evening. Three people were hurt, none seriously, in the crash on eastbound I-66 near Patrick Henry Drive, according to the Arlington County…

It’s going to be a windy Saturday. The National Weather Service just issued a Wind Advisory for Arlington and other parts of the D.C. region, in effect until 6 p.m….

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…

McLean-based Golden Boot Soccer has been a leader in youth soccer skill development and fun for nearly 30 years, and this summer they’re bringing their popular summer camps back to…

It is the decision of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) to implement the Proposed Action: the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update (Pentagon Master Plan) as the framework to guide future decisions regarding land use and infrastructure at the Pentagon site and Mark Center. The Pentagon Master Plan aims to provide an update to the existing conditions at the Pentagon and Mark Center and presents projects and revisions to land use categorizations that will address the specific needs to reduce the Pentagon’s environmental impacts and advance sustainability, security, and resilience. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review has been completed through preparation of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate environmental impacts arising from implementation of the projects. WHS has concluded that no significant impacts to the human or natural environment will result from implementation of any projects, and recognized negative effects will be reduced by adherence to standard best management practices, applicable permit and consultation conditions, and standard operating procedures. This decision is further documented in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed on March 20, 2024.

This notice announces the availability of the FONSI to implement the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update.

For further information and to request a copy of the Final EA or FONSI, please contact Brian King, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager, WHS/Facilities Services Directorate/Standards and Compliance Division/Environmental and Sustainability Branch; (703-614-3658 or [email protected]). Please include “Pentagon Master Plan Final EA and FONSI” in the subject line.

Submit your own Announcement here.

The 3rd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference will feature Thomas Silverstein, renowned Fair Housing expert and Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Come hear the latest news about fair housing enforcement, policy, and programs within Arlington County, Virginia, and across the country! Our expert panelists and guest speakers include fair housing advocates, elected officials, and government officials tasked with advancing housing equity at the local, state, and federal level.

Arlington has made substantial strides in advancing housing equity and improving fair housing policy with the adoption of the Regional Fair Housing Plan in 2023. Come learn what’s next to fight housing discrimination, incorporate equity for marginalized populations in our housing policies and programs, and increase awareness of fair housing rights under state and federal law.

We’ll have updates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing federal rule, a panel discussion of fair housing progress at the General Assembly and across Virginia, and a panel of local experts discussing the progress Arlington has made and what remains to be done.
Please RSVP in advance to ensure you receive your free lunch at the conference. Free and open to the public.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

National Chamber Ensemble – Concerto Celebration

We invite you to join us for an extraordinary evening of music at our Season Finale, “Concerto Celebration”! Enjoy several masterworks as NCE performs two famous concertos in an intimate chamber music setting, opening with a delightful work by Chevalier

“The Secret Garden”

The St. Andrew’s Players Present “The Secret Garden”

Adapted from the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett by Erin Detrick

A time-honored classic, “The Secret Garden” is the story of two indulged and neglected 10-year-olds. They are miserable souls from different


Subscribe to our mailing list