LINCOLN HEIGHTS, Ohio - A second gun buy back event ended early Tuesday due to an overwhelming response. The event was part of a campaign to bring attention to the gun violence impacting Greater Cincinnati.
The first event was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and collected 145 guns at the President Drive Church of Christ in South Fairmount. The second was held at a community building located at 9913 Wayne Avenue next to the the Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church.
Ed Bades of Wyoming turned in an old rifle he no longer used. "I have several other firearms that are better firearms so this is surplus if you will. So I'm perfectly happy to turn in this one for a gift card that I can use," Bades said.
With the events, the guns are handed over to the area police departments to have their serial numbers run to see if they were used in the commission of a crime. After that, the guns are destroyed.
During the event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tuesday's event, in exchange for the guns with no questions asked, the group handed out $100 gift cards to area stores. The campaign is hosted by Project Nehemiah , a faith based community organization connected to Ceasefire Cincinnati.
"Amnesty is really our way of showing that it's legitimate program and people will come," said Pastor Ennis Tait with Project Nehemiah. "Those weapons are accessible and we are just trying to keep people safe, keep families safe."
The gift cards were purchased with donations from the community, private donor organizations and corporations throughout the area. Tuesday's event sold out after 80 gift cards were handed out.
Organizers are still collecting donations in order to hold more events. "The New York Times ran our first gun buy back and through that article we received donations from Ireland, Texas, New Jersey," Tait said. "However, we still need more donations."
A group of 20 private individuals was also present at Tuesday's event. Tom Woolery owns a gun store in Roselawn and was offering $100 in cash for a gun. "We are here to buy guns before they get destroyed. We are gun lovers and shooters and we want to save them from destruction and put them in our safes," Woolery said.
The third event is scheduled for Good Friday, March 29. The location has yet to be determined.
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