Memphis, Tenn., will begin an initiative to lower crime this month when city residents will have the opportunity to exchange their firearms for free gas and tickets to a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game on the grounds of a local Baptist church.
On Sept. 15, the city will give away $50 MAPCO gas cards to people who are willing to turn in their firearms, even if they are illegal. According to Fox News, each firearm will be worth one gas card with $150 being the limit that each person can receive.
In addition to free gas, the city will also give away two free tickets to a pre-season Memphis Grizzlies basketball game that will take place next month. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton spoke about the inspiration for the initiative that will take place in the parking lot of Bloomfield Baptist Church in the city.
"Crime, especially violent crime, is often fueled by relatively easy access to firearms," Wharton said in a Fox report. "Last year, 1,600 guns were reported stolen here in Memphis. Those guns didn't just evaporate and disappear. They ended up on the street."
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said people can turn in firearms in a "judgment-free zone" at the church parking lot with no questions asked on Saturday. He described the importance of the city making an effort to get guns off the street of Memphis.
"In 67 percent of the aggravated assaults we've investigated this year, a firearm has been used to commit those crimes," Armstrong said in the Fox report. "This is an effort for us to take guns off the street."
The event called "Gas For Guns" will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.