MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Instead of college football fans, Tiger Lane will fill up with Memphians willing to surrender guns in exchange for gasoline, groceries or tickets to see the Memphis Grizzlies or a University of Memphis Tiger Football game.
"We want everyone who wants to turn in a gun to the Memphis Police Department to be able to do it safely, "said Deputy Police Chief A.C. Knight, the MPD's top commander in charge of the gun exchange program.
Knight said the MPD will begin accepting guns with no questions asked as they drive up through Tiger Lane to the Pipkin Building on the Fairgrounds starting at 8 o'clock Saturday, August 22.
"People from our (gun) range will secure the weapons and make sure it's safe, at which time they'll proceed a few feet further, get a gas card and they'll be on their way," Knight said.
While supplies last, Memphians can obtain their choice of $50 gift cards from MAPCO or Kroger for guns surrendered.
Each individual can turn in as many guns as they like but will receive a maximum of three gift cards.
Several years ago, Memphis beverage executive Ronald Kent said he saw that MAPCO had donated $50 gas cards in exchange for guns in Nashville.
Kent said he approached the Memphis MAPCO managers as well as contacts at Kroger and secured enough $50 gas cards to get hundreds of guns off Memphis streets.
This week, the Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis Football program donated game ticket vouchers that police hope people will accept in exchange for guns after the $50 MAPCO and Kroger cards run out.
No pellet, airsoft or BB guns will be accepted, only real firearms.
Police said all the guns accepted at this event will never again make it back into the hands of civilians.
Deputy Chief Knight said police will keep accepting firearms until they run out of the items that'll attract a crowd.
"We going to start at 8 and go until we run out," Knight said.
The event hashtag is #gas4funMEM.