Council authorizes gun buyback program

An initiative to help combat gun violence will move forward. Charlottesville City Council has approved an ordinance that will allow the Police Department to create a buyback program for firearms. 

Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis told Council that the city will partner with another entity to conduct the transactions. 

“We would be reaching to a nonprofit to actually facilitate the gun buyback where we would be involved in that process,” Kochis said.”Any firearms recovered, we would then take in and they are incinerated.”

Similar programs exist in other Virginia localities such as Roanoke, Richmond, and Norfolk. 

According to the staff report, it is not yet known how much a program would cost. But the document does lay out other statistics.

“As of March 20, 2023, the City of Charlottesville has seen a 150% increase in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses in 2023 over the entire calendar year of 2022,” reads the report. “Since 2019, annual violent crime offenses in the city have increased steadily year over year by a total of 59.3% from 2019 to the end of 2022.”

Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers had other new information about the police department in his report. 

“Chief Kochis through his concentrated efforts has hired 15 recruits in the Police Academy,” Rogers said. “The success of CPD cuts the vacancies in the department from 30 to 15.” 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the July 21, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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