Indiana Church: Give Us Your Guns So We Can Destroy Them

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

An Indiana church is asking gun owners to relinquish their guns to be melted down in response to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

The congregation of Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church in Crawfordsville, Ind., are attempting to lessen the number of semi-automatic rifles and bump stocks in circulation in their community in an attempt to prevent future mass shootings like Parkland, according to The Indianapolis Star. The church has asked gun owners who are willing to relinquish their semi-automatic rifles, bump stocks, and “large-capacity clips” at the church on April 28 in exchange for gift cards. The church, in conjunction with the local police department, will have the guns melted down.

Church members David and Sheridan Hadley have organized the drive to collect and destroy guns in their community. They said they were inspired to do so as a response not only to Parkland, but also to school shootings that preceded it.

“We grieved and we were shocked once again by the mass killing in Parkland, and that was only the most recent. Go back to Sandy Hook and Colorado … seeing the kids running out of the school and away from the school was heartbreaking,” said David Hadley, according to WFMY News 2.

Hadley and his wife recalled that the church had run some gun buy-back programs in the early 2000s.

“We thought the likelihood that we here in Crawfordsville, Indiana, would be able to make any kind of significant change in public policy at the state or national level was very small. At least in the short term. So what can we do?” Hadley added. “If we can get two or three or five or 10 of these things out of circulation here, that is a start.”

The church will not actively ask gun owners for their guns, Hadley clarified, but will instead accept guns from owners who willingly come to the church to give them up. Those who relinquish their guns will receive $100 gift cards for a grocery store while those who relinquish gun accessories will receive $25 gift cards.

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