Richmond’s gun buyback program advances, set to start later this summer

Richmond city leaders will launch a gun buyback program this summer with half a million in funding.
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond city leaders will launch a gun buyback program this summer with half a million in funding.

“With so many of our young folks having that open opportunity to grab a firearm and put it in their hand to do reckless dangerous danger to ones of human life, then yes, we have to come up with all kinds of means,” said Charles Willis, United Communities Against Crime Executive Director.

Monday afternoon, city council announced The Robby Poblete Foundation would lead the effort. The California-based group says it’s collected more than 1,300 guns from American streets and turned them into art.

“What are we doing about the gun violence? What are we doing about the gunshots we hear in our communities? I have senior citizens who are afraid to come out of their homes. Parents are afraid to let their children play outside,” said Ann-Frances Lambert, Richmond City Council.

Lambert says they finally have a game plan with the money behind it. Earlier this year, Mayor Levar Stoney set aside $1.5 million to tackle gun violence prevention.

“It’s for outreach into our community. Talk about gun safety but also try to eliminate the guns out of our communities,” said Lambert.

Community activists say any action is helpful to reduce the number of illegal guns and warn the price for that buyback should be comparable to the black market to be truly effective.

“I commend our city officials with coming up with a nice healthy amount, preferably one that would be very encouraging,” said Willis.

The city has some more logistics to work out. The buyback program should launch in late July or August.

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