South Memphis Church and MAPCO Offer Gas For Guns
(Memphis) A Mid-South church is helping get guns off the street.
Bloomfield Baptist Church has been a part of the South Memphis community for decades and has a plan to make it safer, one gun at a time.
“Gunshots, two or three times a week,” said Troy Johnson a south Memphis business owner.
Troy Johnson opened the Riverside Sundry in his old neighborhood.
He believes this part of South Memphis is where he’s needed, but he and others wish there were a lot fewer guns.
“We’ve even had a robbery right here at the church. A young guy came in with a handgun, robbed one of our young ladies. We had our overnight retreat,” said Rev. Ralph White, Bloomfield Baptist.
Bloomfield Baptist is leading a new effort to get guns out of the city.
“I look at this as the same way you eat an elephant. We can’t kill it all, but we can do a bite at a time,” said White
Rev. Ralph White’s church along with MAPCO and others plan a “Gas For Guns” day.
In exchange for each gun turned in, they’ll give away a $50 gas card.
You can turn in as many as three guns for up to $150 in free gas.
Each person also gets a pair of Grizzlies tickets.
“I think it’s going to be a great idea. It’s something that’s been needed around here for a while. Take some of the guns off the street. Get them out of the kids hands,” said Johnson.
The event is in Bloomfield’s parking lot September 15th.
Memphis police will be there, but there will be no background checks on guns or people.
“If I come across a gun and somebody give me $50 for it, yea, I’m going to turn it in,” said Mario Avant.
Not everyone News Channel 3 talked to has faith the program will work.
“People these days they are not fixing to turn in no gun,” said Brittney Johnson.
Organizers know there are skeptics, but with the rising price of gas, the idea of filling up for free might win a few more people over.
“$25 right now would be good. It doesn’t matter,” said Troy Johnson.
The Memphis Police Department’s firearms training unit will be on hand to accept the guns.
All of the weapons collected will later be destroyed.