VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Those who possess firearms they don’t want or can’t have will be able to turn in the weapons and receive gift cards, no questions asked.
The Hampton Roads Black Caucus will be hosting a firearm buyback event this month to help get unwanted guns off the streets.
“We are very much aware that gun buyback programs are not the ultimate answer to gun crime, but we hope it can be a start in getting “unwanted” guns off our streets and ensuring a safer community,” the HRBC wrote in a news release Thursday.
The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 18 in The Mount Church parking lot, 620 Baker Road in Virginia Beach.
Joel Jones, spokesman for the Hampton Roads Black Caucus said, “It’s to save lives in the community. Even if we get one firearm, that means we get one person that we can influence.”
The HRBC says gift card quantities are limited and they reserve the right to limit the number of gift cards one person can receive based on the number of firearms they turn in.
They also hope to provide education for those who have questions.
“We want to exchange with some education, we want to exchange with some training,” said Jones. “Sit down, relate to the kids, talk about why do they have a firearm, what’s the need for you to have a firearm. If you have a firearm, what do you know about this firearm? Do you understand the inner workings of this firearm? And a lot of times, they don’t.”
The HRBC is asking the public to donate gift cards or certificates toward the cause. The HRBC hopes to offer gift cards anywhere from $25 to $250. You can visit their website for more information on how to donate.
City Council also approved the buyback event on Dec. 7, the HRBC said.
According to Virginia State Police, in 2020, firearms were used in 83% of homicides, 50.4% of robberies and 35% of aggravated assault cases.
It’s those statistics the Hampton Roads Black Caucus wants to change.
“These young kids do not have a clue as to what the damage this firearm can cause if it’s not handled properly,” said Jones.
HRBC says Virginia Beach Police will be at the event to take the guns and dispose of them.
Jones says the hope to expand to all Hampton Roads cities.