Do You Want to Get Guns Off The Streets of Grand Rapids? The City is Buying!
They are still working out the details, but the former gun buyback program in Grand Rapids is coming back this summer, and it's certainly not too soon.
It's been a few years since the city has had a program like this in effect, but the City Commission approved it Tuesday night as an incentive to get guns off the streets.
WZZM reported that the city first ran a gun buyback program in 2020, and it collected nearly 300 weapons.
As we have seen lately, gun violence has seemingly ramped up in the city, and with the success of the first program, city commissioners quickly passed the new program. They are funding it with $40,000 going to the city's safe task force who will lead the program.
Second Ward Commissioner Milinda Ysasi said:
"This means working with community organizations to share that there'll be a gun buyback, [and] selecting a location. In the past, we've selected community locations that feel safe and comfortable to individuals, [and] coordinating with our police department, because there are requirements about how guns are disposed and appropriating the right dollar."
In 2020, the city actually ran two buy back programs with a total of 267 weapons were collected and disposed of.
It looks as if actual money won't be give out, but gift card. And, what can you turn in? Well, all guns will be accepted, however, only those turning in assault rifles, semi-automatic, handguns, revolvers, shotguns and rifles will be given gift cards.
What a dream if just just one senseless act of violence can be averted by getting a gun off the street.
LifeQuest Ministries Pastor Jerry Bishop says,
"It could be effective, but more needs to be done to prevent gun violence. Until we create a space where our entire community is having a conversation about this, year round, we will only have seasonal gun buybacks, while I'm burying murder victims in every season."
Pastor Bishop and his ministry have recovered 13 hand guns in 2022. And it hasn't cost them a dime. They work transparently with people and work confidentially with many young people, parents that are simply saying, 'I don't want to be a part of this life. But I don't want to be a part of the initiative.'
Amen to that, pastor. We can only hope the conversation will open up and all of us will literally "buy" into the program and trust again.
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