The 2014 City of Cleveland Gun Buyback was held on Saturday at Public Safety Central on Payne Avenue.
In exchange for working handguns or semi-automatic weapons, gun owners were given either a $100 or $200 Target, gas or food gift card, plus two tickets to a Lake Erie Monsters game.
"The whole idea is to take guns from people who don't want them anymore," explained Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia with Cleveland Police.
One example is someone who inherited a gun, but was unsure what to do with it, or how to safely store it.
"When they're not stored properly, or stolen, they end up in the hands of criminals, or people who should not legally own a gun," said Ciaccia.
The Cleveland Police Department's eighth annual buyback seemed successful, taking in 270 weapons during the event, including seven shotguns, 10 rifles and 253 handguns.
Cleveland Police partnered with the Cleveland Police Foundation, ArcelorMittal, the
Cleveland Gladiators, Burt Saltzman owner of Dave's Supermarkets, the Lake Erie Monsters,
Clear Channel Outdoor, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department and the Cleveland Police
Patrolman's Association to organize this year's Gun Buyback.
"This community partnership will help us to prevent a tragedy in the city of Cleveland," said
Chief of Police Calvin Williams. "This is a strategy the city of Cleveland and the Division of
Police have employed previously. As a result of the Gun Buyback, someone's life will be saved."
"ArcelorMittal is proud to partner with the Cleveland Division of Police on the Gun Buyback program. It is a natural extension of our commitment to make Cleveland a safer place for our employees and neighbors. After the guns are collected, we are pleased to melt down the
weapons and recycle them into new steel which will eventually become consumer goods that
improve the quality of all our lives," said Eric Hauge, vice president and general manager of ArcelorMittal Cleveland.
Not everyone was in full support of the event, however. Although police accomplished their goal, many gun rights activists protested. Some even offered cash for weapons.
"Cleveland's violent youth and gang population will continue to kill people before and after the Cleveland Police Department's 'Buy Back,' confirming that these events are nothing but the collection of irrelevant firearms for the purpose of political theatre. OFCC's presence near the city's buyback event is designed to call attention to the wasteful and cynical nature of the program," said Garvas.