Homicide solution? Gun buy-back starts 10 a.m. Friday
The homicide numbers in Minneapolis continue to climb, the mayor and the police say they're doing everything they can to curb the trend, and now comes this: A one-day program on Friday to get guns off the streets by buying them.
But the buy back isn't some last-minute PR stunt engineered by city boosters. Deseria Galloway, of the of the Twin Cities Anti-Violence Coalition and Wellspring Second Chance Center, says the event has been in the works for at least eight months. (Flyer after the jump.)
In that time, she says, the coalition has raised money at concession stands, talent shows and car washes, secured donations from McDonald's, Target, Comcast and other businesses, and worked with city law enforcement to fund, organize and promote the event.
She acknowledges, however, that the timing for the buy back couldn't be better: 24 people have been killed in Minneapolis this year.
"Bury our guns, not our people!" declares the flyer for the one-day offer that starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Shiloh Temple at 1201 W. Broadway and ends "when the funds are depleted." (A second drop-off will be hosted by Gospel Temple COGIC at 247 Grotto Street N. in St. Paul.)
Here are the rules of engagement to turn in a firearm:
- The flyer promoting the event must be carried as a ticket to enter the building
- The gun must be transported in a clear plastic bag
- The gun must be separated from ammunition
- A plain-clothes police officer will take the weapon and ammo without questions
- $50 for revolvers, $100 for semiautomatic weapons.
- Participants will be asked to fill out a survey (no ID required)
- Counselors and clergy will be on hand for counseling
The types of events have been tried in various U.S. cities over the years, and have their supporters and detractors. The former say the programs have pulled thousands of guns off the streets, while the latter say the programs are little more than a feel-good event.
But with the Minneapolis homicide rate climbing steadily, organizers here figure a buy-back at least can't hurt, and at best becomes part of an ongoing, collective effort to reduce violence in the Twin Cities.
"Would you rather the guns just stay on the street?" Galloway asked.
Here's the flyer (ffor a full size version, click here):
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