A “Guns For Groceries” program could take 300 guns off the street this weekend.
Southfield-based personal injury law firm, Goodman Acker, P.C. is teaming up with Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and Bishop P.A. Brooks to hold a gun buyback event on Saturday, May 18. Organizers say the goal of the event, which will give participants grocery gift cards for their unloaded guns, is to make the streets safer for residents and reduce the increasing number of gun-related crimes in the area.
From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the gymnasium of New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, any and all guns turned in can be redeemed (no questions asked) for a $50 Meijer gift card. “Groceries for Guns” is born out of the sponsor, Goodman Acker, P.C. growing tired of the issue of gun-related violence in the community.
The grocery cards will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Gerald Acker, founder and senior partner of Goodman Acker. There are 300 gift cards, which means at least 300 guns off of the street. Organizers plan to do a similar event in the fall and hope other companies and individuals will step up to provide incentive funds for the effort.
“Every day, about 80 people die from gun-related violence in the U.S.,” says Acker. “Like so many others, my partner Barry Goodman and I just have had enough of the gun violence claiming lives and destroying families and communities. Fortunately, the leadership of Wayne County shares our frustration and is helping make our vision of fewer guns on the street a reality. We can’t save the world, but if this program can help save just one life, it’s certainly worth it.”
The issue of gun violence is top of mind for residents as well as community leaders. When the idea for “Guns for Groceries” was first conceived, public and faith community partners supported the idea.
“Gun turn-in programs have proven to be successful across the country and we are glad to be part of this unique public-private partnership in Detroit,” said Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano. “Our goal is to encourage people to bring in unwanted guns, which will be a positive contribution to making our homes and neighborhoods safer.”
Although the buyback programs have their share detractors, citing the prevalence of hunting rifles and old weapons being turned in at some events, the fact remains that at the end of the day potentially dangerous weapons are collected and disposed of safely.
“Gun violence is taking a tragic toll on our communities. Reducing the number of guns that wind up in the hands of those who use them illegally is an important step toward decreasing the crime that has us all fearful,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny N. Napoleon. “If you know of or have a weapon lying around, turn it in. That one small move will make a world of difference in our neighborhoods.”
New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ is located at 15340 Southfield Service Drive (just north of Fenkell) in Detroit. The event will take place in the church gymnasium, and will be staffed by sheriff deputies and volunteers from the Offices of the County Executive, Sheriff’s Department and Goodman Acker, along with members of New St. Paul Tabernacle church.