BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD)- The Bloomington Police Department will host their first gun buyback event on Sunday.
The drive-thru event offers cash incentives for up to four unloaded firearms per vehicle to encourage residents to part ways with their weapons, no questions asked.
“We’re not going to ask you where you got the gun… No identifying questions will be asked… We want everybody to feel welcome and not have any fear of there being any criminal charges pursued when they drop these firearms off,” said Officer Bryce Janssen, public information officer for Bloomington Police Department.
Bloomington police will pay $200 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, $400 for ghost guns and $500 for assault weapons. More than four firearms will be accepted, but there will be no cash payout for those.
“What we expect most people to be doing is they have firearms in the house, they don’t have a safe way to store them, and they are looking for a way to get rid of the firearms, a way to dispose of the firearms. So this provides a cash incentive for them to dispose of these firearms in a safe manner,” said Janssen.
Janssen said the goal of the event is to promote gun safety, especially proper gun storage.
“Throwing a gun in a nightstand, on top of a shelf, in your glove box is not proper storage, that’s just a hiding place. Kids like to play hide and seek, they’re going to find a gun if you have it hidden. Obviously, a catastrophe can happen if a child finds a firearm. You’re also more likely to have the firearm stolen if its not secured in a lock box or safe. We have far more gun thefts from hiding places than we do gun storage containers,” he said.
Janssen said that the firearms will be run through a database to see if they were stolen or not. If the firearms were stolen, they will attempt to return them to their owners. The rest of the firearms will be sent off for destruction, used for scrap metal, or repurposed.
The event will be hosted at 2602 Six Points Road in Bloomington from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until funds run out. Janssen said they hope to collect 150 to 250 firearms.