PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Police Department is giving the community another chance to get rid of unwanted weapons.
The department is preparing to hold its third gun buyback this year. The buyback will take place on Saturday, December 10 from 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.
Buyback locations include First Baptist Church and Higher Dimensions Church in Peoria.
The event will allow community members to trade functional guns for gift cards up to $500 dollars per weapon.
Organizers said they received additional funding from a private donor after a major response during the last gun buyback.
“There were some folks, unfortunately, we had to turn away. I just kind of spoke to them to let them know that, you know, we’re still going to try to continue some efforts. This donor stepped up graciously and we made sure this time that we have more than what we had last time to meet that particular need,” said Pastor Martin Johnson, lead chaplain at Peoria Police Department.
Police Chief Eric Echevarria also emphasized that the department is not anti-gun, but they want to prevent incidents related to irresponsible gun ownership.
“We’ve recently had a child who was accidentally shot with a gun. We have people who may get a gun and commit suicide with a gun, and then we have people who want to commit violence with guns. So we don’t want those guns to be somewhere and if you’re looking for a way to get rid of them, this is an opportunity,” Echevarria said.
Echevarria said most of the guns traded in will be destroyed. Police are also working with the Peoria Riverfront Museum to preserve weapons that may have historical significance.