Indiana church to buy guns back from owners in exchange for food gift cards

A church in Indiana is seeking a different way for people to give up their gun ownership. The members of the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church located in Crawfordsville would like to buy the guns back for melting, and in exchange, gun owners would receive food gift cards worth $100 and $25.

(Reuters/Joshua Lott/Files)An AR-15 style rifle is displayed at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, in this file photo taken March 12, 2013.

Church members and former educators David and Sheridan Hadley told the Crawfordsville Journal Review that the Florida school shooting last February, where 17 people died, compelled them to take action against guns. Their church is working together with the Crawfordsville Police Department for the gun buy-back program.

Anyone can give up their guns and gun accessories at the police on April 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In exchange, they will get a $100 gift card for the guns and a $25 for the accessories from Kroger or County Market. The guns will then be brought to Nucor Steel for melting.

The Hadleys brainstormed with other church members on what they can do to make their place safe and they recalled that the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church has actually done gun buy-back programs three times since the early 2000s. The previous drives successfully collected 40 weapons, such as old and rusty pistols and rifles. This year, however, Hadley hopes that a few will give up their semi-automatic, military-style weapons.

The Crawfordsville community has plenty of gun enthusiasts and hunters. The Hadleys and the members of their church, however, hope that the drive will also convince more gun owners to consider this option in the wake of the rising incidents of mass shootings in America.

"We knew we were not in a position in Crawfordsville, Indiana — West Central Indiana — to change laws or do anything immediately, and yet we wanted to do something to make children in our community safer," David said. "We're not taking guns from people, we're giving people an opportunity to take them out of circulation," he added.