Groceries Not Guns buyback event to be held for fourth year

Grocery store gift cards in exchange for guns — that’s the idea behind a unique buyback program here in Roanoke that’s returning this summer.

The Roanoke Branch NAACP in Partnership with the Roanoke City Police Department and the Quakers are coming together to curb gun violence through the buyback program.

“Even if we have one death by gun violence that means that we have relevance and that means we can step in and try to make a change,” Brenda Hale, President of the Roanoke Branch of NAACP said.

That’s why officials say the gun buyback program is so important.

Groceries Not Guns is where people can go to trade in their firearms for meals. Organizers tell me last year they brought in over 160 guns.

“We are doing something constructive, and we are putting food on the tables for families,” Hale said.

The hope is to curb gun violence.

“I’m going to tell you what evidence shows, evidence shows that when a community cares enough to invest in said community things like gun buybacks contribute to the fact that violence will decrease and people are doing something about said violence in their community,” Roanoke Police Chief, Scott Booth said.

You can surrender your guns for food money on June 22 at the Melrose Community Center — no questions asked.

Gun locks will also be available for the community at the event.

Organizers ask people to bring firearms to the event in a closed box or similar container. For more rules and details, visit here.

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