Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Guns 4 Groceries" Sanest Gun Policy In Texas

Law enforcement agencies are holding a gun buyback program this weekend, no questions asked, in exchange for cold hard cash (go buy a better gun! Just kidding. Feed your family). The Guns 4 Groceries program began last year and returns this Saturday at Oak Meadow Baptist Church, 6905 S. Interstate 35, near William Cannon Drive in South Austin.

Here are the deats:
Saturday, 2/26/11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$200 for each assault rifle
$100 for each handgun and rifle
$10 apiece for air guns, BB guns or replicas
There is a two-gun limit per participant.

"The response was overwhelming last time. We had to shut down after a few hours," said Cary Roberts of Greater Austin Crime Commission, a nonprofit that is co-sponsoring the event. "We anticipate the same interest this time."

The Greater Austin Crime Commission webpage promotes "public safety programs that improve the community's quality of life. These programs have been done with private financial support and without concern for public fanfare. The Crime Commission and its members care about the Central Texas." Apparently, the mission statement was written by someone not native to the Central Texas. The Commission does general do-gooder work like provide anti-drug and youth programs for kids, bullet proof vests to cops, trauma kits for patrol vehicles, technology for an Amber Alert program, and what is probably most important, marketing the police department's 3-1-1 response systems, which significantly reduces emergency calls. They seem a little stoic for a non-profit (no fanfare for these guys), but maybe they are just hiding their soft, gooey centers behind tough cop exteriors. I like the idea of public safety as a community concern and effort.

Why are people giving up their guns? Many of the participants last year had weapons they had inherited and no longer wanted, or were living with children and no longer wanted weapons in the home, Roberts said.

When turning in a weapon, police ask participants to follow these instructions:

• Unload the gun.
• Put the gun and ammunition in separate paper bags.
• Bring gun and ammunition to Oak Meadow Baptist Church (6905 South IH-35), Saturday, February 26, 2011, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
• Upon arrival, tell an officer you are there to turn in a gun.
• Do not remove the gun from the bag unless asked to do so.

My next question is, what are they going to do with all of those guns? Oh, of course. They need them for hunting.

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