And the survey said.... evaluating rationale for participation in gun buybacks as a tool to encourage higher yields

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine; Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine; Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery; Department of Injury Prevention

Publication Date


Document Type



Pediatrics | Public Health | Public Policy | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Surgery


BACKGROUND: Gun buyback programs represent one arm of a multipronged approach to raise awareness and education about gun safety.

METHODS: The city of Worcester, MA has conducted an annual gun buyback at the Police Department Headquarters since 2002. We analyzed survey responses from a voluntary, 18-question, face-to-face structured interview from December 2009 to June 2015 using descriptive statistics to determine participant demographics and motivations for participation.

RESULTS: A total of 943 guns were collected, and 273 individuals completed surveys. The majority of participants were white males older than 55years (42.4%). Participants represented 61 zip codes across Worcester County, with 68% having prior gun safety training and 61% with weapons remaining in the home (27% of which children could potentially access). The top reasons for turning in guns were "no longer needed" (48%) and "fear of children accessing the gun" (14%). About 1 in 3 respondents knew someone injured/killed by gun violence. Almost all (96%) respondents claimed the program raised community awareness of firearm risk.

CONCLUSION: The Worcester Goods for Guns Buyback has collected more than 900 guns between 2009 and 2015. The buyback removes unwanted guns from homes and raises community awareness about firearm safety.


Firearms safety, Injury prevention, Gun buybacks

DOI of Published Version



J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Aug 30. pii: S0022-3468(16)30285-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2016.08.009. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of pediatric surgery

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID