Gun buyback event aims to make Jackson safer


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Gun violence has been a big concern in the city of Jackson in recent years.

But a local group is hoping to change that one gift card at a time.

Thomas Burke says ongoing gun violence in Jackson is putting a lot of people on edge.

“They have a grave concern about their safety because of the shootings,” Burke said.

Burke is the founder and director of the group Save Our Youth.

They’re working on a possible solution to this problem by buying back guns.

“Just bring it in, no questions asked. They get a $50 Walmart gift card and also a gun lock,” Burke said.

Save Our Youth is having a gun buyback event this Saturday at the Higby Street Church of Christ.

It’s their third gun event this year.

In January, they collected seven weapons.

And April’s collection was even bigger.

“We produced 28 weapons. So the community is paying attention,” Burke said.

Officers from the Jackson Police Department are there to collect the guns.

Chief Elmer Hitt says they appreciate the help.

“Keeps them potentially out of the hands of criminals, keeps them out of the hands of children possibly finding a gun lying around. Just a safe way to turn in a weapon that no longer has a legitimate or legal use,” Chief Hitt said.

Officers check the guns to make sure they weren’t stolen or used in a crime.

After that, the guns are destroyed by police.

“Any gun that could be potentially involved in a crime that we’re able to get off the street is helpful,” Chief Hitt said.

Burke says people come to these events relieved that they can get unwanted and potentially dangerous weapons out of their homes.

“I am hoping the violence decreases as a result of these events,” Burke said.

The gun buyback is happening Saturday, June 24 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Higby Street Church of Christ, 706 South Higby Street in Jackson.

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