Jackson community to hold gun buyback program this weekend

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 10:06:32-05

Shootings have become all too common in the city of Jackson, according to Thomas Burke.

"There's a lot of unnecessary shootings in the community," he says.

Burke has been working for more than a decade in Jackson to keep kids off the streets with his Save Our Youth group.

"We work with the schools, we work with the local businesses, and the families, and we try to find out what is it that youth that they want to see done? What is it that we can do to fill those gaps?" asks Burke.

That's been starting art or music classes after school, having chess tournaments, or teaching kids to golf. And now, Burke wants to target gun violence at its source, and try to get guns off the streets with a gun buyback program and also raise awareness on gun violence.

"The solution is the awareness and try to change the culture--the mindset--of why is it so important for the youth to be having guns on them?"

The buyback program offers a $50 gift card for a gun. Those guns will then be handled by the Jackson city police department.

Lieutenant Christopher Simpson tells me he feels it's important for the police to be involved in the program to help get guns off the streets.

"That's what we're about," Simpson says. "We're about that whole focus. WE help provide security for our community, but we also want to show our community we walk hand-in-hand with them in events like this."

Lieutenant Simpson says it won't be easy, but he hopes the buyback will chip away at the problem.

"It's a never ending battle," he says, "and we continue to fight that fight."

The buyback will be from 12-2 on Saturday at the Lane Memorial Church at 141 Moore Street in Jackson.