MPD to hold guns for gas event to get weapons off the streets - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD to hold guns for gas event to get weapons off the streets

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

"If we save one life, we have made a difference" is the slogan for this year's guns for gas and groceries event.

Starting at 10 a.m. on October 1, people will be able to trade in guns, no questions asked, at the Incredible Pizza at Hickory Ridge Mall in exchange for gas and groceries.

It's a trade community leaders are offering for the fourth time.

"It's an opportunity with no questions asked to bring the gun in," Carolyn Kent said.

The guns for gas and groceries event will give people the chance to fill up their tank or fridge while keeping guns out of the hands of civilians.

"Here's an opportunity for the public and community to partner with us," MPD Director Mike Rallings said. "Turn in an unwanted gun, turn in a gun you've found and you can receive gas or groceries, I think it's a great deal."

Each individual may turn in three guns in exchange for one $50 Kroger or Mapco gift card per gun. Last year, 437 handguns and 283 rifles were turned in an effort to make the streets of Memphis safer.

No pellet, airsoft, or BB guns will be accepted.

The event is a drive up event, but walk ups are accepted and will be accommodated with police support. The event will last until there are no longer items to exchange for guns.

Critics say the guns that will be turned in are not the guns killing people on the streets. They say criminals aren't likely to turn in their guns, just hardworking people who may need the guns for protection.

Pastor Ralph White, who is the chairperson for this year's event, disagrees. He said the program is voluntary, and it provides peace of mind for many families.

"We don't compel anybody to come," White said. "They volunteer to bring those guns so if they bring those guns they feel that, 'Hey, this shouldn't be in my house. My son or daughter brought it; it's been here, and I've looked for a way to get rid of it.' So that becomes a way."

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