COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus police and the Department of Violence Prevention are preparing to hold a gun buyback event for the first time in two years.

The drive-thru event, taking place on Sept. 30, is anonymous – with gift cards of up to $750 being offered.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said there has been a lot of interest and positive feedback about this event.

Ginther said this is yet another way the city is looking to take a multifaceted approach to violence prevention.

“This will be one of our biggest buybacks ever… We know the more guns we get off the street, the safer we’re all going to be, the safer our neighbors are, our families, our officers,” Ginther said. “I think this is a way for the people of Columbus to actively participate in preventing violence in the future.”

It will be the most lucrative buy back ever.

Gift cards of up to $750 will be given in exchange for handguns, assault rifles, non-assault rifles and shotguns based on type and condition.

All other firearms, including replica, antique, and non-working guns, will also be accepted and eligible for one $25 gift card regardless of the number or condition of the firearms turned in.

Ginther said the guns will also be checked for links to any ongoing criminal investigations – and then destroyed.

“It was really important for us to recognize that if we were asking the community to come out and participate in this way, that we were offering fair compensation for what they would be turning in to provide that incentive,” said Rena Shak, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention. “I think that there is no question that one firearm taken out of a home that could potentially land in the arms of a child or that can be used for self-harm or stolen out of a home or a car and used for a crime is a productive result.”

City leaders are emphasizing that the event can be done anonymously.

“We’re just interested in getting the guns off the streets and out of homes and places they don’t belong,” Ginther said.

They also believe this work is necessary.

“We may never know exactly how many violent acts we are preventing, but we certainly know that the facts are that we are preventing them,” says Shak.

The event will be happening this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church.

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