‘People might say, oh that’s not many. But no, it is. It is. Because we’re talking about life and death…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Organizers of Philadelphia’s gun turn-in program said they are “pleased” with the event’s results, despite the fact that only six guns were handed over.
Philadelphia officials launched the gun turn-in initiative last week, asking parents to search their homes for weapons and turn them over to the authorities voluntarily.
“We’re calling on parents to do room checks of your house, and if there are any guns that you find, you can turn those guns in to police—no questions asked,” said Bilal Qayyum, president of the Father’s Day Rally Committee. “We’re asking parents to take responsibility.”
Even though less than a handful of guns turned up at the first event, officials still consider it a success.
“People might say, oh that’s not many. But no, it is. It is. Because we’re talking about life and death,” said Victoria Greene, one of the event’s organizers. “This is a new effort, but I think it’s really going to have some momentum.”
“We’re at an epidemic stage at this point,” said Damone Jones, senior pastor at Bible Way Baptist Church. “If this is not an urgent situation now based on how many children, now it seems like it’s every week there’s another child being shot.”
Those who do turn in weapons will not face prosecution, acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Police are “not looking to take people into custody,” she said.
“That one gun, or two guns, or five guns, or 20 guns will all be ones that we now know are not going to be used against our children, [or] used by our young people to settle disputes,” Coulter said.