ST. LOUIS, MO (KSDK) For the first time in almost 10 years, the City of St. Louis is launching a gun buyback program. It’s an effort to prevent violence, which Mayor Lyda Krewson says is at a crisis level.
Several city officials were in the Mayor’s Office for the announcement, including Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards and Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
There were also community leaders, such as Rev. Charles Brown. Brown is senior pastor at Mt. Airy Missionary Baptist Church in the Kingsway East neighborhood in North St. Louis. A lot of his work takes place in the community.
“A couple years ago, a young man got killed right out here on the street,” Brown said. “I’ve had girl gangs fighting out here on the street. When I see that kind of stuff, I try to stop it. Matter of fact, I will call the police.”
Krewson says this year’s homicide count of 197 is the most the City has seen since 1995. She says, so far this year, the police department has taken more than 2,000 guns off the streets and says that’s “not nearly enough,” which is why the group is relaunching the buyback program for the region.
“I don’t expect the criminals and the crooks to come in here and bring their gun,” Edwards said. “I do expect, however, that the good people will tell us where the guns are.”