Fredericksburg Sponsors Gun Give Back Event
“The event will allow gun owners to dispose of unwanted weapons, no questions asked, with the assurance that their firearms will never be used in the commission of a crime,” said Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department public information officer. This is not an effort to take guns from citizens who legally possess them and want to keep them, organizers said.
The event is the brainchild of Ward 4 City Council Member Chuck Frye, who initially wanted to do a buy back program, Bledsoe said. “State law 15.2-915.5 requires that guns purchased in a buy back have to be offered back for sale at auction to licensed gun dealers, which defeats the purpose of trying to get them off the streets and out of homes for safety concerns.”
The Gun Give Back will also give back to the community through a sponsorship offered by local philanthropist Doris Buffett. For every firearm turned in, Buffett will donate $100 to one of four local charities: Empower House, Cops and Kids (Shop with a Cop), Micah Ministries, Thurman Brisben Homeless Shelter.
If you wish to turn in an unwanted firearm:
– Transport the weapon unloaded in the trunk of your vehicle.
– An officer will meet you in the parking lot of Police Headquarters, 2200 Cowan Blvd., Fredericksburg, and retrieve the firearm from your vehicle
– Tell the officer which of the four charities you would like to support with the surrender of your firearm
– Ammunition is not being accepted.
All firearms turned over to police will be rendered safe, checked against regional, state and local criminal information listings and, if not on any of those listings, destroyed.
The police department always accepts firearms residents want to dispose of, but has never before held a collections event. “This is the first time we’ve done this, and as far as we can find, no other locality has done a give back ever, or a buy back since the above law went into effect in 2012,” Bledsoe said.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League is taking the police department to court on Thursday, Dec. 11, trying to get an injunction to stop the event, Bledsoe said.
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