Several Arlington churches are teaming up with police to offer groceries for guns in a first-of-its-kind gun buyback event in the town next month.
Arlington residents will be able to trade in unwanted firearms and ammunition in exchange for grocery gift certificates at the town’s Department of Public Works at 51 Grove St. on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The interfaith firearms initiative was set in motion by the Calvary Church, United Methodist and will ask Arlington residents to exchange their handguns, shotguns, antique or other non-working firearms at the buyback event.
Calvary Church is teaming with the Park Avenue Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Trinity Baptist Church and First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington to organize the event in an effort to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands.
“We’re real excited about being able to work together and doing an interfaith action in Arlington,” said Mike Rich, a co-deacon for mission and justice ministry at the Park Avenue Congregational Church.
Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan said Tuesday that while he’s not expecting the gun buyback event to bring in a high volume of illegal street guns, he said the event may help collect surplus guns, such as guns left behind by deceased family members or other unwanted guns.
The guns can be exchanged with no questions asked and no identification will be required. The firearms should be brought to the event with empty chambers, unattached clips or magazines, safeties should be on and the weapons should be in a carrying case, box or other container, according to organizers.
The churches are soliciting donations of funds and gift cards to be provided in exchange for the firearms. Donations can be sent by check or money order payable to Calvary Church—Gun Buyback Program, or online via PayPal at arlingtongunbuyback.org.