Memphis Police Collect Hundreds of Guns in Buyback Program
(Memphis) Hundreds of guns are off the streets of Memphis. People volunteered to give up their guns, no questions asked.
Saturday, hundreds chose to wait in their cars to hand over guns to Memphis police for gas, groceries and tickets to a Grizzlies game. But Memphis Police Director, Toney Armstrong, says the biggest perk of all is, “at the end of the day we’re saving lives. If we save one life this is worth it.”
This is the second year Memphis police teamed up with local businesses and organizations to help get guns off the streets. It’s an effort Joseph Terry is happy to see.
“I live in the Frayser area. I get tired so tired of hearing about the shootings in my community,” said Terry.
Verna Aldridge-Brown turned in a gun she randomly found in her backyard.
“It was like somebody jumped the fence, maybe running from the police I knew I wanted to get rid of it,” said Aldridge-Brown. Aldridge Brown didn’t want any of her grand-children to find it. Same goes for Paul Roberts, he waited nearly an hour to safely toss out an old gun.
“For Grizz tickets it was not a toss-up. So I sat in the line that long for potato chips, a bottle of water and Grizz tickets,” said Roberts.
Cars waited in line two by two. Police anticipated this. This year, they decided to make the gun drop-off a drive through. The line was so long, it wrapped around the Hickory Ridge Mall parking lot and building.
Within the first two hours of the drive, Memphis Police collected more than 200 guns. Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong isn’t sure exactly how many crimes the guns collected will stop, but he says they’ll help.
“I can’t tell you how many parents have walked up to me and said I slept better knowing I didn’t have a gun out,” said Armstrong.
Police will go through every gun to make sure they aren’t linked to any crimes. Guns that are considered clean will be destroyed by Memphis Police.