A Review of Gun Buybacks

  • Max D. HazeltineEmail author
  • Jonathan Green
  • Muriel A. Cleary
  • Jeremy T. Aidlen
  • Michael P. Hirsh
Gun Violence (P Masiakos, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Gun Violence


Purpose of Review

This reviews the history of gun buybacks and the literature to determine their impact and efficacy, as well as highlighting salient critiques. Finally, we discuss potential avenues that would enhance our understanding of buybacks and methods to address gun violence.

Recent Findings

Gun buybacks have become more prominent since their inception in the 1970s and often come in response to a tragic local event. The largest scale buyback was in the mid-1990s in Australia, which collected over 650,000 guns. Buybacks are a cost-effective method of reducing the number of weapons in the general public.


Gun buybacks are a cost-effective means to reduce the number of unwanted firearms in the general public and also provide a means for education regarding injury prevention. Buybacks in conjunction with other methods have been shown to be successful in reducing the number of firearms that could lead to injury and death.


Firearm safety Injury prevention Gun buybacks Community 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Drs. Hazeltine, Green, Cleary, Aidlen, and Hirsh declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max D. Hazeltine
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan Green
    • 1
  • Muriel A. Cleary
    • 1
  • Jeremy T. Aidlen
    • 1
  • Michael P. Hirsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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