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Police board strips funding for gun buyback

By KWMU/Post-Dispatch

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Police Department will not be offering its gun buyback program this year after the department's governing board voted yesterday to strip the funding.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the board deadlocked on whether to use $57,500 forfeited drug money to purchase weapons from residents with no questions asked. Mayor Francis Slay had left the meeting early, and told the Post-Dispatch later that he was unaware the gun program would be controversial.

Police bought back nearly 540 guns last year. But opponents point to this year's rising murder rate, and say the money could be better spent elsewhere in the department.

Board prsident Chris Goodson said he is open to the idea of using private funds if they are available.