Churches organize gun buyback event

Several Arlington churches are teaming up with police to offer groceries in exchange for firearms next month in a first-of-its-kind gun buyback event in the town. Residents will be able to trade in unwanted handguns, shotguns, rifles, antique or other firearms and ammunition for grocery gift certificates at the Department of Public Works office at 51 Grove St. on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The interfaith initiative was set in motion by the Calvary Church, United Methodist, which has been joined by the Park Avenue Congregational Church, Trinity Baptist Church, and First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington in the effort to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands. Police Chief Fred Ryan said that while he’s not expecting the event to bring in a high volume of illegal street guns, it may help collect unwanted firearms. The guns can be exchanged with no questions asked and no identification will be required. The firearms should be brought to the event with empty chambers, unattached clips or magazines, safeties on, and in a carrying case, box, or other container, according to organizers. The churches are soliciting donations of funds and gift cards to be provided in exchange for the firearms. Donations can be sent by check or money order payable to Calvary Church—Gun Buyback Program, or online via PayPal at www.arlingtongunbuyback.org .