Gas for Guns program helps community feel safer - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gas for Guns program helps community feel safer

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Police collected hundreds of guns Saturday. Police collected hundreds of guns Saturday.
Officers worked together to collect firearms. Officers worked together to collect firearms.
Amber Wilkins and her church youth group volunteered at the event. Amber Wilkins and her church youth group volunteered at the event.

(WMC-TV) - Hundreds of guns are off the streets and the City of Memphis' second annual gun buy-back is to thank.

Organizers of Saturday's Gas for Guns program were amazed at the response.

"It's pretty much like a drive-thru. You don't even have to get out of your car. You turn over the firearm and we give you a voucher," stated Dir. Toney Armstrong of the Memphis Police.

Citizens are receiving a $50 gas card, Kroger voucher, or 4 Grizzlies tickets per person with a three gun per person limit.

The program began at 10 a.m. and coordinators were surprised to find people lined up around the building hours before it started.

The goal of the program is to get guns off the streets and prevent violent crime. While there are not any statistics to support this fact, Director Armstrong feels confident this makes a difference.

"Last year, we had 500 guns that we took of the streets. You cannot convince me that a percentage of those guns wouldn't have been used during a violent crime...had we not taken those guns off the streets," declared Armstrong.

Kirby High School student Amber Wilkins recalled last week when a gun was found on her school campus. The report sent the school into temporary lockdown before a student was taken away in handcuffs. After that incident, Wilkins agreed this program is a better idea for the community.

"Now that I see this is happening... it makes me feel a lot better and safer in the community," affirmed Wilkins.

Police have confirmed, unless the guns are stolen, all firearms will be destroyed.

The stolen guns will be returned to the registered owners.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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