ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CNN) — St. Louis city leaders are desperately trying to get a grip on the ever-growing number of homicides.
They’ve announced a gun “buy-back” program they hope will save lives.
Mayor Lyda Krewson says the level of violence in St. Louis has reached a crisis level.
Krewson announced the city will begin a buyback program next Saturday to get guns off the streets.
Many different groups are coming together to make this possible.
It’s being funded by area lawyers.
Krewson was joined by a number of city leaders today, including the new public safety director, Judge Jimmy Edwards.
So here are the numbers:
So far this year 196 people have been murdered.
And Krewson says 1,000 others were shot but survived.
This year’s homicide total marks a more than 10-year high.
Last year, the homicide total was at 188.
The last time the city launched a gun buy-back program was in 2008.
The homicide total that year was 167.
In 1995, that was the last time the city reached more than 200 homicides, at 204.
There were even more the year before that.
And in 1993 the city had 267 homicides.
“It’s to settle differences, defend territory, retaliate, take cars, do holdups,” Krewson said. “And as everyone knows carjackings are also up from prior years.”
“My message is simple: Mom, grandma, uncle, dad… give us the guns,” James Clark said. “Give us the guns because that same gun that is in your house may be a weapon used to hurt someone very badly or perhaps even your own child.”
Tuesday we’ll learn what types of guns they’ll accept and how much money in gift cards you’ll get for them.