GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids residents can turn in their guns for gift cards during a buyback program on Sept. 17.
The Safe Alliances for Everyone Task Force and the Grand Rapids Police Department will host the program on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Burton Heights Lot, located at 30 Burton St. SW.
Grand Rapids residents can turn in firearms for Visa gift cards, no questions asked, the city said in Tuesday release. The gift cards will vary depending on the firearm. Revolvers, shotguns and rifles will get $100 gift cards, while assault-type rifles and semi-automatic handguns will get $200 gift cards.
Black powder firearms will not get gift cards, but can still be brought in, the city said.
Two gun buyback programs were held in 2020. The city says a total of 267 guns were collected.
“This program will help us continue to get guns off the street and provide community members who no longer want to have firearms in their home a place to safely dispose of them,” GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said in the release.
He said taking the guns will make the community safer.
“I understand the argument, saying, ‘This isn’t getting the right guns of the street’ — it is getting some of those guns off the street,” Winstrom told News 8.
He said guns that are laying around the house could be stolen or a kid could find them.
“Over the summer a 13-year-old … discovered a friend’s grandfather’s handgun. And unfortunately as they were playing with this handgun the 13-year-old was shot and killed,” Winstrom said. “Those types of guns — that are maybe left around the house, maybe older family members that don’t know how to dispose of it, those sort of guns — they’re still very deadly. And they’re still guns that we want to get off the street.”
The SAFE Task Force has contributed $40,000 to fund the program.
People are asked to transport the firearms to the buyback unloaded and in the trunk of their car. After they are collected, the guns will be destroyed, according to GRPD.
More information can be found here (pdf).