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Gun Buyback Bill Advances Through House Committee

A proposal that won approval from the House municipal committee Thursday would allow Louisiana’s parishes and municipalities to create gun buyback programs that allow people to exchange weapons for gift certificates or other compensation.

New Orleans is the only city in Louisiana authorized to hold buyback programs, although Baton Rouge has had one for several years.

In a no-questions-asked effort to get guns off the street, House Bill 272 by Rep. Alfred Williams, D-Baton Rouge, would authorize the program in Baton Rouge and any other parish or municipality that wants to participate.

Baton Rouge has participated in a gun buyback program since 2010 called “Gas for Guns,” in which people turn over weapons in exchange for Circle K gas cards ranging from $50 to $300.

Mark Dumaine, chief of administration for the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office, said the Baton Rouge program has recovered 557 guns, nine of which were stolen. He supported the bill, which moves next to the full House for debate.

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