Baltimore Holds City-Wide Gun Buyback Program

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Unwanted weapons. A swap of goods for guns could remove a slew of illegal weapons from Baltimore streets. That’s the mission of a national nonprofit group that hosted a citywide gun buyback this weekend.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the tradeoff for turning in unwanted weapons is food.

By the looks of it, this could be the line to a gun show in Baltimore — but it’s not. It’s a no questions asked gun buyback in northwest Baltimore called “Goods for Guns.”

“I’m concerned that if my house is burglarized someone is going to get this and it’s going to end up on the street. I just don’t use it anymore,” said participant Steve Burnett.

No matter the condition, Mike Basher says his organization will take the weapons. He’s a spokesman for Uplift Solutions — a national nonprofit that brings grocery stores to food deserts in cities. His group teamed up with Shop Rite stores to host the event.

The tradeoff for surrendering a gun is a $100 Shop Rite gift card — and city cops are on hand to collect them all.

“We want to get them off the streets, we want to get them destroyed,” said Basher. “We don’t want a gun dealer to buy them and then they go back out to a home.”

“I’m turning in two today,” said Maxine Mobley.

Mobley has stored two shotguns in her home for years. They belonged to a family friend who gave them to her. She says it’s time for the guns to go to make Baltimore’s streets safer.

“Most young folk don’t understand the harm they cause other people because they don’t have a clue. It’s too many killings going on in the city,” she said.

This is the second year of the “Goods for Guns” buyback. Last year, organizers collected over 460 guns. This year, the goal is higher at 500.

“We always want to break your record,” Basher said. “We’re trying to break the record now.”

Officers collected more than 200 guns. Each gun will be checked to make sure it’s not linked to any crime in the city. All of the weapons will be destroyed.

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