Drop off gun, get a gift card: Council member wants local gun buyback event
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Drop off your gun and get a gift card: It's a concept that's swept the nation since the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On the day after Christmas in Los Angeles, lines of cars around the block waited to turn in their guns. Kozachik wants to bring a similar gun buyback effort to Tucson.
"This is not an anti-gun thing," he said. "It's an opportunity for the community to come together and get this off the streets."
Kozachik wants to start slow. He plans to help raise $5,000 from the private sector including nonprofits and corporations. That money would then go towards purchasing $50 gift cards that you get when you hand over your guns. It's totally voluntary and no questions asked.
"That'll get 100 of them off the street," he said. "Let's just see if Tucson's into this kind of thing."
Los Angeles collected more than 2,000 guns of all types. Kozachik thinks Tucson could have similar success, as a town that uniquely knows the feeling to be ground zero of a mass shooting. Kozachik tells 9OYS Tucson's police chief is already behind this effort.
"This community will embrace an opportunity like this to get guns off the street," Kozachik said. "No one's talking about ripping up the Constitution, and I'm tired of hearing that crap from the hard right."
But not everyone is ready to hand over their gun for some green. Ken Rineer is President of Gun Owners of Arizona.
"My gut reaction is this is not a good idea," Rinner said.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Rineer if he believes these gun buybacks help make communities safer. He replied, "I don't think so. Gun buybacks make you feel good, may get old clunkers off the street, may buy somebody groceries or whatever, but that's about as far as it goes."
Kozachik says the proof it works is just to Tucson's west in Los Angeles where pictures of piles of weapons that now no longer run the risk of falling into the wrong hands are being broadcast across the country.
"Everybody should be supporting this instead of having a knee jerk reaction against me telling me I'm against the 2nd Amendment," Kozachik said.
Kozachik has also made calls to Arizona NRA officials. He believes the NRA should help fund buyback programs here. He has not heard back from those officials.
But late Thursday night, Kozachik did receive a call from Safeway representatives. They are committed to helping fund a portion of a local gun buyback event. Kozachik hopes more local nonprofits and larger corporations step up to help as well.