Gun buy-back event attracts groups with different motives

NORTH FAIRMOUNT, OH (FOX19) - Gun buyback programs are seeing increased traffic in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting. A local event on Tuesday brought out three groups with three distinct motivations.

In our commitment to balanced news, here are their sides of the story:

The people who brought guns to the event got rid of unwanted weapons, no questions asked.

"Project Nehemiah," the group running the "Gifts for Guns" event, is trying to make sure guns don't end up in the wrong hands. The non-profit gives out gift cards and destroys the guns it collects.

Outside the event, a gun shop offered cash with plans to re-sell the firearms. Gun shop owners say those guns belong in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Project Nehemiah bought 60 gift cards using donations in anticipation for this event, but very quickly the gift cards ran out. This is not the first "Gifts for Guns" event, but it was the busiest one to date.

There's a lot of controversy over how to stop gun violence, but everyone present at Tuesday's event wants to keep guns from ending up in the wrong hands.

"I had a gun in the house, and there's a baby, and I wanted it gone," said Ellen Shuler, who turned in a gun at the event. For years, a gun sat in a box in Shuler's garage. It's been so long, she couldn't even remember where it came from.

"I don't want to have to worry every night that this gun is not being used for proper things," Shuler added. "If I bring it here, I know it's going to go to the right place. Not in the hands of children or anybody else for that matter."

However, where that gun should end up depends on where you turned it in.

Outside, a Roselawn gun shop offered cash. Inside, guns were traded for $100 gift cards to Kroger, Target, Walmart, and other stores.

"We're here to buy guns from people just like the church," said Tom Woolery, owner at 3 Guys Supply gun shop. "They're going to destroy them, we're going to sell them to law-abiding citizens and get them in the hands of people who should have them."

"That concerns me," said Cecil Thomas, Cincinnati City Councilmember. "It's undermining the whole effort that this is intended to do, which is to get guns off the streets. Not to sell to another owner and then that owner sells it to someone else and eventually it ends up back on the streets."

Thomas went on to say there are several ways that gun could leave the possession of a law-abiding owner.

Woolery added that it wasn't criminals turning guns in, simply people that no longer wanted them in the house.

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