CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –
The City of Cleveland held their Gun Buy-Back Saturday at Public Safety Central located at 2001 Payne Avenue.
“No questions asked. We just want to get the guns off the street” said Sgt. Sammy Morris of the Cleveland Police Department.
Officers packed several crates full of guns just within the first hour of the 5th Annual Gun Buy Back.
“If you pull off one and it saves a life, then this whole thing is worth it” said Morris.
For Inez Watson of Cleveland, it was a chance to get rid a gun a relative left her in a will.
“As long as they’re giving money, it’s fine” said Watson.
For every working hand gun turned over to police, citizens got their choice of a hundred dollar gift card to Dave’s Grocery, Target or Shell Gas. They also got Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters tickets.
For many like Terry Breedlove of Cleveland, it wasn’t just a deal but a chance to make a profit. He paid $150 for his gun twenty years ago. He made more getting rid of it today.
“Yeah, I think I did pretty well” said Breedlove.
The only drawback to this gun buyback was the long line. It took about an hour to get to the front. Those who made it through say it was worth the wait.
Police will take the guns to ArcelorMittal Steel Mill to be melted down and destroyed.
In exchange for operable handguns or semi-automatic rifles (Assault Rifles), citizens were given a either a $100 (handguns) or $200 (semi-automatic rifles) Target, gas or food gift card and two tickets to an upcoming Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters game.
In addition, they were entered into a raffle with a chance to win up to $1,000.
Cleveland Police partnered with the Cleveland Police Foundation, ArcelorMittal, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Burt Saltzman owner of Dave’s Supermarkets, the Cleveland Browns and the Police Patrolman’s Association to organize this year’s Gun Buy-Back.
“This community partnership will help us to prevent a tragedy in the City of Cleveland,” said Chief of Police Michael McGrath. “This is a strategy the City of Cleveland and the Division of Police have employed for several years. As a result of the Gun Buy-Back, someone’s life will be saved.”
“We’ve collected over a 1,000 guns and during the course of the year we have other gun meltdowns for neighborhoods and the communities outside of Cleveland,” said ArcelorMittal Vice President Eric Hauge.
For ArcelorMittal, it fits in with the company’s commitment to safety, “The health and safety of our workers is one of our number one priorities and then as we get involved with the community we feel that out reach becomes a natural thing to also improve the community safety,” said Hauge.
“ArcelorMittal is proud to partner with the Cleveland Division of Police and Cleveland Police Foundation on the Gun Buy-Back program,” Hauge said.
Everyone surrendering a gun will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win up to $1,000!
The event wrapped up at 1 p.m.
In all, 352 firearms (311 handguns and 41 long guns) were surrendered to police.
Article and Picture Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News