Gun buybacks to be held at Sabina Church each weekday, Fr. Pfleger announces

Anyone 25 and under can get $200 for handguns or assault rifles

Mark Rivera Image
Thursday, July 22, 2021
St. Sabina to hold gun buybacks each weekday
Starting next week and continuing indefinitely, St. Sabina will be open Monday-Friday to buy guns off city streets.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Father Michael Pfleger announced a permanent gun buyback event at Saint Sabina Church Thursday in an effort to stem gun violence in the city by taking guns off the street, one by one.

"Standing up here is showing that my voice is my most powerful weapon," said 16-year-old Kendric Berry, part of St. Sabina's Brave Youth Leaders.

"I just wanted to come up here and show them that having a voice can be (more) powerful than carrying a gun around," he said.

Pfleger, along with benefactor Tom Sondag, announced a new and ongoing gun buyback event to make Chicago streets safer amid a spate of summer gun violence that brought three mass shootings in the city overnight.

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"Hopefully an opportunity to reach a young person and help them understand the value of their life, help them understand they have a whole future ahead of them," Pfleger said.

Starting next week and continuing indefinitely, St. Sabina will be open Monday through Friday to buy guns off city streets.

Pfleger said this is vitally important to getting those weapons out of the hands of young people in Chicago, but added this is an important step to creating a point of contact with them to change the trajectory of their lives.

"So that somehow we can find out how we can serve them, what we can do for them, how we can get them a job, how we can get them some mentoring," Pfleger said.

Sondag said he's putting up the money and wants to expand the effort city-wide eventually, motivated by the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

"Hopefully we run out of cash in a week," Sondag said. "That would be my dream, that I could turn that $25,000 into guns, and he (Pfleger) can destroy them."

Until 4 p.m. on weekdays, people 25 and younger will be able to anonymously turn in working guns.

They'll get $200 dollars for handguns or assault rifles, $100 for rifles, and $20 for high-capacity magazines.

Those guns will then be turned over to the 6th Police District, where they will be destroyed.

"'Cause if you're out here shooting on the streets, there's an expiration date on your freedom. Either it's a grave or it's a prison. And we don't want any of our kids going to either," Pfleger said.