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Gun buyback event hosted in Salt Lake City

gun buyback.jpg
John Scott
Daily Lobo
Gun Buyback in SLC

Following a series of fatal mass shootings across the country, Salt Lake City hosted a gun buyback event, offering gift cards for people who returned their guns.

Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall announced last Friday, the city would host a gun buyback event on Saturday, June 11th, where individuals can voluntarily surrender their firearms for gift card exchanges.

Mayor Mendenhall said she chose to organize this event in response to the variety of mass shootings across the nation, calling for political leaders to do more to stop gun violence.

“Since 2020, guns are the leading cause of the death of our children in the United States," Mendenhall said. "That is a rattling fact for parents, and I hope for communities at large. We need to have a much better conversation as a nation and then see congress take action to actually give us better protections.”

The event will take place from 11AM - 3PM at the Public Safety Building in downtown Salt Lake City. Individuals will receive a $50 gift card in exchange for their gun, while any individual who trades in an assault rifle will receive a $100 gift card.

Mayor Mendenhall said individuals should ensure that their gun is unloaded and safely put in a gun lock or gun case if they have one. Greeters will ask where the gun is located, if it is unloaded, and if it is secured when people arrive at the event for safety purposes.

“We are doing everything that we can in Salt Lake City to make this place more safe; and where we don’t have the control to put in place the kind of restrictions that I believe are necessary, we are going to try to amplify those voices in our community to make sure Congress is listening, ” Mendenhall said.

Mayor Mendenhall said this event has received a great amount of encouragement and financial support from private donations and the Salt Lake City Police Foundation. They received a total of $10 thousand dollars for this event, aiding in the purchases of gift cards.

Alison Looney Swillinger, Chair of the Salt Lake City Police Foundation, said her team was approached by city representatives inquiring if they would like to support the gun buyback event. She said the foundation gladly supports this cause for getting unnecessary firearms off the streets.

“We do recognize that not necessarily criminals will turn in their guns but we feel that getting additional guns off the street no matter where they come from is the right thing to do,” Swillinger said.

Sydney Lasike graduated from Dixie State University, in St. George, Utah, in 3 years with a bachelors degree in Media Studies (Multimedia Journalism Emphasis). There, she competed as a student-athlete on the women’s volleyball team, and was the Features Editor of the school newspaper, Dixie Sun News. She was awarded the 2021 Media Studies Student of the Year Award, and graduated with Latin Honors - Magna Cum Laude.