DENVER — Two councilmembers have organized a joint community gun buyback program in an effort to keep firearms off the streets of Denver and Aurora.
Denver District 5 Councilmember Amanda Sawyer and Aurora At-Large Councilmember Curtis Gardner have partnered with RAWtools, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit that works with municipalities and faith-based community partners to host drive-through gun buyback events.
They say the goal of the program is to reduce local gun violence, especially following recent events.
“I am heartbroken over the events of the past few weeks," said Sawyer. "Our residents deserve to feel safe in their communities. Our kids deserve to feel safe in their schools. While it will not bring back those we have lost, every gun we can help take off the street represents a potential life, or lives, saved. I truly appreciate the partnership of RAWtools Executive Director Mike Martin and Councilmember Gardner in developing and implementing part of the solution to this epidemic.”
“I am sad to see the violence that has plagued Aurora & Denver," said Gardner. "Both of our cities strive to be inclusive for all backgrounds, open for business & safe for all our residents and violence, especially youth violence, is an epidemic. We know crime doesn’t stop at municipal borders, so I am grateful to Councilmember Sawyer for her leadership in this area. With the combined resources of our cities, my hope is we can ensure our residents feel safe calling Aurora & Denver home.”
Recovered firearms will be destroyed to ATF standards by trained volunteers then converted into garden tools and jewelry.
Community members can turn in their firearms anonymously.
The program will begin March 2022. Officials will hold eight events at various community gathering places, including churches and synagogues. Four events will be in Denver, while the other four will be in Aurora.
Locations, dates and times will be announced in January.