Memphians turn in guns for gas, groceries - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphians turn in guns for gas, groceries

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

There was a huge turnout for Saturday’s Guns for Gas and Groceries program in Memphis.

Organizers said more than 700 guns were dropped off last year. This year, they hope that number is even higher.

Outside the Hickory Ridge Mall, cars lined up around the building to trade in their guns for gas and groceries for the fourth annual event.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said turnout is important.

“They're excited about being able for make a difference in their home; make a difference in their community,” Rallings said.

Organizer Ralph White said residents who pulled up and handed their firearms over were asked no questions; the guns were destroyed.

In return, they received a Mapco gas card or a grocery card for Kroger.

They hope this will curb the city’s crime.

“We're doing just that--taking guns off the street,” White said.

“Ninety-six percent of our homicides involve a firearm,” Rallings said.

The event is working toward lowering that number.

“We don't need them and I don't want them hanging around the house,” Pam Stevens, who turned in guns, said. “So that people won't be able to steal the guns and commit violent acts.”

White said the event was intended to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands.

The goal of the event was to receive 800 guns dropped off.

“Hopefully we can put a dent in some of the crime that we're seeing,” White said.

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