PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — In an effort to get guns off the street, Peoria leaders held a gun buyback event Saturday, bringing in a total of 47 firearms to police custody.

At four separate locations in the city, people could turn in their fully functional guns, no questions asked. In return, they received a gift card for $100.

“By reducing the number of guns on the street, that will definitely reduce the number of incidents where gun violence is being used. So we’re hoping if we can to even just a little bit prevent that from happening, that’s something worth giving glory to God for,” said Pastor Harreld Webster from the Higher Dimensions Praise and Worship Church.

The Peoria Police Department posted a photo on Facebook of all the guns collected. They also broke down what kind of guns were turned in:

  • 18 revolvers
  • 10 semi-automatic handguns
  • 12 rifles
  • 6 shotguns
  • 1 assault rifle
Photo from the Peoria Police Department Facebook page.

A group of mothers joined the coalition Saturday as well and helped organize the buyback. They all share one thing in common — they have all lost children to gun violence.

One of those mothers is Yolanda Wallace, founder of the Jon Buckley Memorial Garden. She said the fellowship among mothers and community leaders brought a lot of hope and joy.

“There were tears shed,” she said, “but the majority of people left with smiles.”

Wallace said it was empowering to uplift the mothers of tragedy, proving they are stronger than the public often perceives.

“There are some guns off the street that nobody can go rob and steal,” she said

Just ahead of Mother’s Day, the “Take the Guns from our Sons and Daughters” event featured music from Peoria media figure and activist Garry Moore, and guest performer Mike Alexander.

Poster promoting Saturday’s Gun Buyback event.

According to the Jon Buckley Memorial Garden Facebook page, Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria spoke at the garden, located behind Peoria’s RiverPlex.