‘Bury guns, not people’: Gun buyback event held in Petersburg

Petersburg Gun Buy Back Event Aims To Make City Safer
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - “Bury guns, not people” was the slogan for Saturday’s gun buyback event in Petersburg.

The Community Transformers Foundation collaborated with the Petersburg Bureau of Police, Tabernacle Baptist Church and Gillfield Baptist Church to make events like this possible.

Residents drove into the church’s parking lot, popped their trunk at one tent to hand over their weapons, then drove to another tent to get a gift card.

“You can’t really thrive in all these other things in life if you don’t have a safe place to live,” said Amanda Becker, the chair of the Community Transformers Foundation.

The Chief of Petersburg Bureau of Police Travis Christian said the program was completely anonymous.

“We’re not in no way trying to violate anyone’s Constitutional right because it is your right to bear arms … but we do recognize the fact that weapons do get in the hands of the wrong people and sometimes do cause harm to families and children,” said Chief Christian.

Students at Virginia State University who are volunteering said they’re doing this as a way to give back. This particular event brings out a deeper emotion for them.

“We had lost two students to gun violence and it’s been very, very hard, so we’re trying to make a change here,” said VSU student Morgan Jackson, who volunteered Saturday.

The city’s mayor agrees with the students and said this event was successful.

“It’s just so many guns out here and this is our effort to get them off the street and keep Petersburg safe,” said Mayor Samuel Parham.

One community member, Kenrick Morgan, is the founder of black gun initiative, He says any event that keeps the community safe is great, but he also believes there are more ways to help keep people safe.

“We must have the same energy to promote responsible gun ownership,” said Kenrick Morgan, the founder of Black Gun Initiative.

If you missed this first gun buyback event and you still want to turn in a gun, Christian says you can turn it in, anytime, at the police department.