The First Presbyterian Church of Dallas on Young street in downtown Dallas hosted its seventh gun buyback program Saturday. But this time, it was met by a pro-gun rally across the street.
Bright placards directed drivers to a parking lot on Young street Saturday, where gun owners trying to get rid of their guns were selling them.
But a few yards away, the church tried to keep the guns off the street permanently.
“I just decided to get rid of it here and help get rid of some of the older guns that people shouldn't be handing around to someone else,” Liz Ryburn said.
DeSoto resident Liz Ryburn was one of the scores of North Texans who came to the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. She received 50 dollars for her pistol.
“The money is an incentive but more than that is the service to safely be able to dispose of that weapon,” Reverend Bruce Buchanan, associate pastor with First Presbyterian Church said.
Guns collected at Saturday’s buyback program will end up at a local metal recycling plant where they will be grounded up to shavings. That did not sit well with rally members across the street.
“They want to put them in a safe place which they view as crush and destroy," said Collin Baker, president of The Right Group. "I want to get guns out of an unsafe place and put them into a safe place which I view into the hands of responsible gun owners and collectors."
Gun owners like Rachel Young. “I wanted to carry. If there is someone shooting up a mall, I can protect those people,” Young said.
Despite the rally, the church is calling Saturday’s event a success. They collected 109 guns --achieving their highest number ever. Church members have collected more than 600 guns since starting the gun buyback program in 2001.