MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee pastors are teaming up to put an end to the city's gun violence. Several pastors in the area spoke Monday, October 14th on what they feel would be a solution to the violence -- a gun buyback program.
In the program, gift cards would be exchanged for every gun brought in. People would get up to a $100 gift card for a handgun, and up to a $200 gift card for an assault weapon.
"We're going to do whatever we need to do in order to make the city of Milwaukee not only safe in the black community, but the whole city, the entire city safe,” said Pastor Mose Fuller, from Saint Timothy Baptist Church.
To fund the program, the pastors are asking for the city's help. They are requesting a minimum of $50,000. Mayor Tom Barrett says he is favor of the program, but coming up with that money might be a challenge.
“I think the concept and the fact that they want to play a leadership role is extremely important. Because the faith community can reach people that the federal government can't and that police can't,” said Mayor Barrett. However, he added, “we have to find a place to secure the funding, obviously that’s going to be a little bit of a challenge.”
The pastors said city leaders are the first they have contacted to help with this initiative. However, they said if that doesn’t work out, they will continue knocking on doors of businesses, organizations, and individuals to come up with a way to fund the program.
“If they say no we're going to do it anyhow,” Pastor Fuller said, regarding the city, “People are tired of violence, like we're tired of violence. So people will give. They gave before they'll give again.”
The gun buyback would be held at churches in neighborhoods that have seen the most gun violence. The pastors hope to start it by the end of the year.