Little Rock Hosts Second Annual “Gun Buy Back” Event

A local Little Rock fraternity worked with officers to collect 40 firearms from citizens this year, up from the 17 they collected last year.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Larry Griffo was one of many who showed up at St. Mark’s Baptist Church on Saturday.

The event, hosted by the Mu Beta Sigma Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Inc., saw many people introduce themselves as Griffo, who actually dropped off an old shotgun he had had for years.

“It was a family heirloom. It was passed down to me from my grandfather to my father, but we were in a different geographical area. They’re really no use within the city limits. There’s no you don’t need a shotgun,” Griffo said. .

He decided to return the gun because he was worried someone would break into his property and didn’t want it stolen.

RELATED: Little Rock Organization Hosts ‘Gun Buy Back’ Event to Address Gun Violence in Area

Also, he has younger grandchildren and didn’t want to risk what might happen if they discovered the gun. These concerns are in addition to his concern about violent gun crimes that have occurred not just in the city, but across the country.

“It’s madness, it’s deadly and it’s life changing. We try to do things now to try to change the future,” he said.

Griffo wanted to get rid of the shotgun and thought a “Gun Buy Back” event was the perfect way to do it.

This year alone, there have already been 35 homicides in Little Rock, with the majority of incidents involving gun violence.

This time last year, there were 30 homicides when the fraternity worked with Little Rock police and local churches to hold their annual “Gun Buy Back” event.

Their continued hope is that the effort will remove more illegal weapons from the streets that would otherwise be used later in a crime.

“If we can get a gun that will maybe save a life, stop a crime, it’s worth it. We have to do something and that’s the start of what we can do as brothers in the world. community to make a difference,” said fellowship president Larry Harris.

Harris said the process to donate a gun is both quick and easy. People can just walk in and hand over any weapon, no questions asked.

After inspecting the gun to make sure there were no bullets, the fraternity gives a $50-100 gift card to the person who dropped off the gun.

$50 gift cards are for an inoperable weapon and $100 gift cards are for a usable weapon.

The fraternity then turns the guns over to the undercover police officers in Little Rock who process the weapon before it is sent to be destroyed.

“We need to do everything we can to help deter this because it’s an issue that affects all of us,” Harris said.

Glenn Hersey is the evangelism pastor at St. Mark’s Baptist Church where they hosted the 2nd annual event. He is also part of the brotherhood.

He said that in the wake of all that is happening across the country, the church is happy to help reduce any level of violence that is happening in the city.

“We want to thank the people who came and lined up before the event even started to donate their weapons,” Hersey said.

Last year they collected a total of 17 firearms, but this year they collected 40.

Comments are closed.