GRPD hosting two gun buyback events

GRPD Police Chief Eric Payne Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Police Department announced a gun buyback program as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in the city.

With the assistance of other city departments — and a financial contribution from the Safe Alliances for Everyone (SAFE) Task Force — the department will sponsor two opportunities in October and November. Each event will encourage individuals to dispose of firearms in exchange for a pre-paid gift card with no questions asked.

The two buyback events from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 24 at the former parking lot of Revolution Culture Movement, 1534 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 7 at Genesis Non-Profit Housing Corporation, 851 Leonard St. NW.

Those wishing to dispose of their firearms are asked to transport unloaded weapons in the trunk of a vehicle. Personnel will not ask questions or collect any personal information. Quantities of gift cards are limited and subject to availability.

Police Chief Eric Payne said the gun buyback program is another crime prevention measure and part of its philosophy in reshaping and reimagining policing in Grand Rapids — now outlined in its new strategic plan.

“This program will help us get guns off the street and provide community members who no longer want to have legal firearms in their home a place to safely dispose of them,” he said. “Removing these weapons will make the community safer by limiting access to firearms by those emboldened to use them in criminal acts.”

Payne thanked the Boston Square and West Grand neighborhood associations for hosting the sites. He also expressed his appreciation to the SAFE Task Force for financially supporting these efforts.

“This gun buyback program is another example of how the people of Grand Rapids come together in partnership to address violence in the community,” Payne said.

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