Denver and Aurora councilmembers announce gun buyback program

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — In an effort to help reduce the incidents of gun violence in metro area cities, two city council members from both Denver and Aurora announced a joint gun buyback program.

The council members say too often, they see firearms stolen from homes and vehicles being used in criminal activity including robberies, assaults, and shootings.

Denver and Aurora will partner with RAWtools, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit organization that works with municipalities and faith-based community partners to host drive-thru gun buyback events.

Trained volunteers then destroy recovered firearms to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives standards and convert them into garden tools and jewelry.

The program will launch in March 2022. They will be held at various churches, synagogues, or other community gathering places in both cities. Four of these events are planned to be in Denver and Aurora.

Locations, dates, and times will be announced in January. At each event, residents can turn in firearms for destruction anonymously.

Councilmembers said while they know those participating in criminal activity will not typically turn in their firearms at a buyback event, reducing the number of available guns in the communities works as part of an overall strategy to address gun violence.

Especially since the weapons would not be available to be stolen for use in future violent crimes.

“I am heartbroken over the events of the past few weeks. 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.”

Amanda Sawyer

The council members called on elected leaders, the Denver Youth Violence Prevention Program, Aurora Youth Violence Prevention Program, as well as the Denver Police Department and the Aurora Police Department to work to end the epidemic of violence plaguing the communities.

“I am sad to see the violence that has plagued Aurora & Denver. 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.”

Curtis Gardner

Residents and faith-based organizations interested in hosting or volunteering at an event should contact the council members for more information.

Amanda Sawyer, Denver District 5 Councilmember

Curtis Gardner, Aurora At-Large Councilmember

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