CHICAGO (CBS) — Activist priest Fr. Michael Pfleger has planned another gun buyback program, but his latest effort to get guns off the streets has a twist.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports St. Sabina Church will host the program Aug. 16. The church has hosted gun buybacks before, with some success, but this time Pfleger is targeting 16- to 30-year-olds.
“University of Chicago Crime Lab said those are the most significant and most impactful gun turn-ins. Those between 16 and 30, turn in that gun – anonymous, no questions asked – gives you an opportunity to make that change … to get rid of that gun, to say I’m tired of it,” Pfleger said.
The first 150 people of that age to turn in a working gun will get a $100 gift card, or a gift card for a pair of adidas shoes. Pfleger said he’d be happy to accept guns turned in by any age group, as well.
“We have got to stop this mentality where guns need to be part of America’s wardrobe, because as long as they are, violence and guns will become the first line in how we respond to our anger. It never ought to be the first thought,” Pfleger said.
The pastor of St. Sabina regularly has led peace marches, and hosted jobs programs and other events designed to reduce violent crime in Chicago. He said he’s willing to do whatever it takes, and no idea is off the table.
“We have a sign up on our church office doors that say you can turn a gun in here anytime, no questions asked. We’ve had about 50 guns turned in over the last year,” he said.
Pfleger is the guest on this weekend’s edition of “At Issue,” which airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM.