By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
A ‘Gun Buy Back’ event was held at the Frederick Douglass Community Association Saturday afternoon, September 10. The event was a partnership with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, Black Teamsters, Toledo Police Department, the City of Toledo and Frederick Douglass Community Association in a continued effort to get guns off of the street.
Hundreds of gun owners lined up outside of the FDCA on Saturday to sell their firearms. The event, like other Buy Backs of this kind, was anonymous for the sellers. Each person received gas gift cards in exchange for their firearms.
“We saw this [event] happening in Sacramento and it was very successful,” said Steve Papodemous, first assistant to Lucas County Prosecutor, “They sold out in 45 minutes and we thought let’s do it here [in Toledo].”
“We thought, let’s take what we can off the street by way of firearms… If we can prevent one death, one suicide, one accident, one murder – then it’s a success. If just one….If it is successful and we sell out of our [gift cards], we’ll have another one,” said Papodemous.
“Their grandchild will never get the gun and have an accident with the gun,” stated Julie Bates, Lucas County Prosecutor. “Their son will never commit suicide in the bedroom with the gun, nobody will come break in the house steal the gun a shoot their neighbor,” added Bates. “All good outcomes.”
Recipients received $100 for handguns, $200 for a longguns and $250 for a semi-automatic gun in gas gift cards. Papopdemous said that there are no tax dollars being used for the program and that the effort is solely funded by criminal forfeiture funds.
Reggie Williams, executive director of the FDCA, which hosts an office for the Violence Interrupters through Mayor Kapszukiewicz Save Our Community Program, commented… “we were looking at how can we partner and collaborate on how to impact the city in regards to violence and take guns off the street… it just made sense…since we have them here [the
Violence Interrupters] in the building why not continue to build off that have people who are comfortable with the Doug and know the Doug come here to Buy their Gun back.”
The Lucas County Prosecutors office hopes to have more across the city in the future.