Gifts 4 Guns attempts to increase awareness and decrease gun violence

1 year 10 months 4 days ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:04:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
By: Brianna Stubler, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - An event in Columbia today addressed the prevalence of gun violence and misuse of firearms by offering gift cards in exchange for guns.

Gift 4 Guns offered local Mid-Missourians the opportunity to turn in guns, no questions asked.

In Boone County alone, there were 101 reported firearm assaults this year, and 7,556 statewide, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol statistics. The first year reported is 2001, with a total of 4,368 firearm assaults. That is a difference of 3,188 in 16 years with a population of roughly the same size.

Event founder Cory Crosby was shocked by the numbers he saw, and said everyone has a role to play in making their community safer.

"Initially, my concern and reason for doing the gun buyback was some of the recent shootings in Columbia," Crosby said. "Not too long after that, I was doing some research and stumbled on some information and statistics about Missouri leading in child deaths too - from people leaving their firearms around and not securing them safely." He said this was an eye-opener for him and encouraged him to raise awareness.

One of their biggest goals, Crosby said, is to educate people on gun safety and raise awareness of the issue of accidental injuries and improper or misuse of guns. 

"I think that makes a big difference and will impact the number of accidental deaths, senseless shootings and senseless misuses of firearms," Crosby said.

He said its one step to bring the community together on an issue that has the potential to affect anyone and everyone. From children to adults, Crosby said it is important to educate people on proper gun use - how to disarm and secure them, in addition to how and when to properly use a firearm.

"We don't have to sit back and let it happen," Crosby said. "There are things we can do to continue making Columbia safer."

Event volunteers have all been approved by the city, he said, and the Columbia Police Department has agreed to safely destroy all the guns collected today. Because the Armory Sports Center is city property, firearms are prohibited. Crosby met with people at the Armory from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to discuss gun safety, while all guns were collected at a separate, secure location. 

By 11 a.m. this morning, Crosby said there were over 20 guns turned in. He started an online funding page that helped raise funds for the gun exchange program, and said money came from within the community and from outside individuals that wanted to support his efforts.

"We explain to people that this is to protect them, to follow the city rules, and to make today successful," Crosby said. The mission of today was simple - to get more guns off the street.

"Moving forward, I would like to make this something that's available to people so they have an option to turn in their gun and get a little extra cash in their pocket," Crosby said.

Another aspect of gun violence he said he hopes to address with this event today is guns stolen from vehicles. Crosby said the number of stolen guns has soared this year, and a friend of his chimed in with a personal story involving an car break-in and theft. In cases like this, a gun falls into the wrong hands and can be very dangerous.

"I think we all have to do a better job in securing weapons, thinking before we use weapons, and the police need to do a better job on making sure cars aren't getting broken into, but the people who leave them in there also need to be more aware," Crosby said. "There's a chance someone can go in your car, take your gun and commit a crime with it" This wont be solved by one person or group, Crosby said, but will take a collective effort.

Last month in Boone County there were 156 firearm assaults, but for the month of December, that number has dropped to five. Comparing 2016 to 2017 state totals shows a slight decrease as well, although the final numbers for the year will not be available until January. 

More News

Grid
List
ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is in the hospital again after falling and fracturing his pelvis Monday... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 6:54:38 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia approved an increase in funding for Job Point's affordable houses on Monday. Job... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:46:00 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in Top Stories
(CNN) -- Four attorneys general announced a proposed framework for a global settlement that could resolve lawsuits against five companies... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:16:38 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Tiger fans, the Border War is back. Missouri and Kansas have agreed to play... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 8:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
LOUISIANA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation has apologized for posting an edited photo that cropped out a... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:14:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A unanimous vote by the Columbia City Council Monday night decided School Resource Officers (SROs) will have another... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 6:34:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An attorney for a Missouri group pushing to expand access to voting argued in... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 4:19:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA — California police chief Shane Templeton has announced he will resign from his position on October 31. This... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 3:42:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center was recognized Monday for a fourth consecutive Magnet® recognition. Magnet is the highest honor... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:52:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Monday people should be wary of someone spoofing the department's main... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:22:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A clinic quietly constructed in southern Illinois to meet demand for abortion services by residents... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 12:09:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer is pushing for legislation that could offer more mobile mammogram services to rural communities... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:34:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors filed formal charges against Cameron White, 19, on Monday, charging him with second-degree murder and armed criminal... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:18:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- According to Missouri KidsFirst, almost one in ten kids will be sexually abused by the time they are... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:37:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is set to host four senior safety presentations in October. The presentations,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:43:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man on multiple charges after the shooting of a 13-year-old boy Saturday night. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
10am 49°
11am 51°
12pm 54°
1pm 55°