GARY | The Gun Buyback program hosted Aug. 18 by the Gary Police Department is being called an “overwhelming success.”
According to Police Chief Wade Ingram, 129 guns were turned in in exchange for Wal-Mart gift cards. Local churches partnered with police to serve as the turn-in locations.
“The gun buyback program exceeded our expectations,” Ingram said. “I’d been told that previous turn-ins yielded less than 50 weapons, so we were happy to see that we went far beyond that number.”
The response was so positive that not enough gift cards were available. Contact information was collected for additional individuals who wanted to exchange their guns, and they will be able to turn their guns in and receive gift cards at a later date.
It has not been determined when another gun buyback will take place; however, officials have an interest in hosting another one in the future, said a news release issued by the city of Gary.
“We thank the churches for getting involved with this anti-violence measure,” Ingram said. “We will continue to work to get the message out that violence is not the answer and that we want our streets back.”
The weapons that were turned in include nine assault weapons, 31 rifles, 19 shotguns, 53 revolvers, 16 semi-automatic guns; and one high-powered BB gun
Turn-in sites included:
Gary Christian Center, 3673 Broadway, 25 guns turned in; Grace Unity C.O.G.I.C., 3435 West 21st Ave., 31; Trinity Baptist Church, 1831 Virginia St., 14; Victory Overcomers, 4400 Delaware St., 16; Marquette Park United Methodist Church, 215 N. Grand Blvd., 16; Beyond 4 Walls Church, 875 S. Lake St., 7; Moving in the Spirit, 4031 W. 11th Ave., 3; and Pilgrim MB Church, 1301 W. 21st Ave., 17.