BEAUMONT - Several Beaumont churches have combined efforts to hold the city's first ever gun buy-back program.
Local church leaders, including Pastor Randy Feldschau of Cathedral Church and Senior Pastor John Adolph of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, have teamed up to kick off the gun buy-back program.
Organizers say the program is aimed to end senseless violence within the community.
They hope to collect as many illegal firearms as possible, and to get those guns off the streets, and in the hands of local police.
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Organizers stress that the buy-back is strictly on a "no-questions asked" basis and that no names will be collected during the buy-back.
Police will then return any guns that were reported as stolen to their owners, determine if any were involved in a crime and then destroy the rest.
Gift cards for $100, $200 or $300, depending on the type of gun, will be given to each person that turns in a firearm.
- Rifle -- $100
- Handgun - $200
- Assault style weapon - $300
Each gun must be a rim fire or center fire .22 caliber or larger weapon and be in working condition.
No BB, pellet, air-soft or other air guns will be bought back.
Guns will be accepted at five locations from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday , August 4, 2017.
- John P. Davis Community Center on East Lucas Drive
- Pride of Beaumont Masonic Lodge Number 291 on South 5th street
- Cathedral Church on Eastex Freeway
- Rogers Park Community Center on Dowlen Road
- Tram Road Flea Market - 7120 Tram Road
During a recent sermon at Cathedral Church that was uploaded on July 18, 2017, to YouTube Pastor Feldschau said...
"I'm a gun owner. I'm a member of the NRA and I support the second amendment.
I've been a gun owner all my life. My dad at one point owned his own gun shop and we traded in guns.
I will always be a gun owner and if they ever decide to confiscate our weapons I'll throw mine in the Neches River before I let the government have them.
I understand that the studies indicate that a gun buy-back has a marginal impact on reducing violent crime.
But gun... One victim saved is worth it. You understand? One victim is worth it.
Perhaps the primary purpose of the program is symbolism. Remember symbolic acts are powerful.
The hope of the buy-back is to reduce the number of guns on the street that might be used for an illegal purpose not to reduce the number of guns owned by law-abiding citizens.
It's not about taking up your guns. I don't want your guns. I'm not turning my guns in.
And what gun owner that has an $800 Sig is gonna come to this church and give it to me for a hundred dollars
Come on guys... Let's let common sense come back to America. Amen?
This is about getting illegal guns... Getting guns that could be used for an illegal purpose off the street.
This is about getting guns out of the hands of young teenagers that have no business carrying a gun to begin with.
It's about getting guns out of homes where there is no responsible adult or a gun safe.
And let me say this if you own guns and you don't own a gun safe go buy one this afternoon.
You don't need to have a gun in your car or in your house that's not locked up in a safe.
I've talked to law enforcement and they told me that most of the guns that are used in an illegal act are guns that are stolen out of people's vehicles.
You carry a gun? Fine. Get your CHL and carry your gun. I support that. But make sure you keep it locked up.
In my world I have five safes so there's never a time that a gun is not locked up that's not on my body.
So you need to lock your guns up, you need to be responsible and there is the problem... In our community there may be adults that are not responsible.
There may be teenagers that are carrying weapons that have no business carrying weapons.
We're going to create an opportunity where people can bring in guns that might be used for an illegal purpose and turn them in.
I've been working with law enforcement and you'd be shocked at the guns they're having to face.
Whether it's a Glock with an extended clip or an AR.
Guys listen, these guys are carrying guns. These ain't squirrel guns they're carrying on our streets you understand.
And these cops everyday are putting themselves in harm's way and law enforcement has said to me, 'pastor we know that the impact this would have on violent crime is marginal but if you can take up one gun. If there's one less gun on the street that should not be on the street he said then I'm so thankful.'
Cause it's one less gun they have to worry about.
This is not the silver bullet to fix Beaumont but one of many things that we will attempt to address the issues of our city.
Listen we're not saying we're gonna have a gun buy-back on August 4th and then get up on August the 5th and all of our problems have gone away, all the violence will stop.
That's not what we're saying.
We're saying we're gonna take up guns that we can that shouldn't be on the street and we believe this is one thing of many things that we will do to address the issues of our community.
We know that poverty, education and crime are all connected.
We've got to address poverty. We've got to lift people's standard of living.
\We've got to educate our young people. get them in school. get them in College.
Get them in trade school. Get them a job.
We've got to address this and when we do we know that crime will begin to subside.
We know through years of study that poverty and education is connected to crime and we need to address these issues in our community and transform Southeast Texas. And everybody said Amen?
We are buying back guns not supporting a government confiscation of privately-owned weapons.
When people say... 'Pastor are you taking up guns?' I say No, I'm BUYING guns.
That means it's a choice that people will make to bring their gun in and then I will give them something in return.
There's a difference between buying something and confiscating something. Amen?"
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