The last major gun buyback in Dallas took place in 2009, when the city of Dallas swapped handguns and rifles for $50 grocery-store gift cards and found a couple hundred takers. As far as Rev. Bruce Buchanan of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas is concerned, that was a forever ago. “And in this community, like others across America, people want to do something,” says the man who runs the Stewpot. So, on January 19 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. at 1822 Young Street, the church will swap cash for weapons: up to $50 for working handguns and shotguns, and up to $200 for semi-automatics rifles.
The Stewpot had been doing this for years, but that was years ago — from 2000 till ’06. During that time, Buchanan says, they took in some 500 guns. They were taken to a metal-recycling company, the barrels and chambers and triggers melted.
“But the last buyback we had, I saved the grips from the pistols,” Buchanan says. “There were individuals who gave gifts for the program, and I gave them the grips to help remind them they helped decommission a weapon.”
And, yes, Buchanan knows: Gun shows offers better prices, and criminals probably aren’t going to hand over their working weapons for 50 whole dollars. Which is not the point: “The sad events last month in Connecticut reminded us that we need to pick up where we left off,” Buchanan wrote in an email yesterday. “We are trying to make Dallas homes and families safer, one gun at a time.”
And that’s all this is about, he says over the phone this morning.
“Something like this seems insignificant unless you’re the family that has the gun in the closet found by a child,” says Buchanan. “We’ve heard horror stories from families who’ve turned in weapons who’ve had close calls. The first buyback we had was the Saturday right before Mother’s Day, and first person to show up was older woman, a grandmother, whose grandson was going to visit the next day. She had a rifle in the closet. And she wanted it gone. So we’re going to move forward with it.” http://www.dallasnews.com/