City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson took part in a gun buyback event on Saturday at Yesha Ministries, 2301 Snyder Ave., organized with the help of the Greenfield Foundation, which provided funding for $100 gift certificates to Brown’s ShopRite stores in Philadelphia. The gift certificates were given to every person who sold a gun at the event. The event, in tandem with another gun buyback event at Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Francisville, also kicked off the city’s 2021 No Gun Campaign, which is focused on getting illegal guns out of homes and off city’s streets the year after both murders and shootings increased by 40 percent over 2019’s figures.
“I believe the city of Philadelphia is in a state of emergency around the issue of gun violence,” said Johnson. “We are consistently seeing young men, women, children being murdered. I believe that it’s the No. 1 priority as far as making our city safe.”
According to Johnson, the guns purchased are processed then melted by the city.
“If people see something they have to say something,” Johnson added. “They can contribute to solving the issue by helping keep young people on the right path, mentoring them, and making sure that they have positive opportunities to get involved with things that are productive instead of standing on the corner and carrying guns.”
A total of 224 guns were bought back by the city at both events, 76 of which were bought back in South Philly. Of those 76 guns, 58 were handguns and 18 were long guns.