Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has announced that the City of Evanston will team up with several community organizations to co-sponsor a gun buyback program for Evanston residents. The gun buyback event will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 1711 Simpson St.
Guns must be unloaded, in operational condition and participants must have proof of Evanston residency. Examples of proof of residency include a piece of mail, Evanston Public Library card, student ID or a government-issued ID.
This is an amnesty-based buyback program and no police enforcement action will be taken as a result of someone turning in a firearm. Participants are encouraged to bring in ammunition, ammunition clips and magazines, but must keep them separate from the weapon at all times. Weapons should be transported in the trunk of a vehicle or in an inaccessible area of a van or pickup truck.
There is a two-gun limit, and participants in the buyback program will receive cash for each firearm. The program will operate on a first-come, first-served basis and will end at the designated time or when all funds are exhausted.
Any Evanston resident wishing to participate in the gun buyback program, but who is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with handling a firearm can call 311 for assistance, and an officer will come out to the residence to retrieve the firearm. Amnesty will still apply for this type of request.
Participants wishing to receive a receipt indicating that the weapon is no longer in their possession for record-keeping purposes will then be asked for additional information.
In addition to their organizational efforts and $1,000 contribution to the program, the Evanston Community Foundation has established a fund to accept residents’ contributions in support of the program at www.evanstonforever.org or by mail to Evanston Community Foundation, 1007 Church St., Ste. 108; Evanston, IL 60201.
“I would like to thank the Evanston Community Foundation for their efforts in helping organize this important community event, along with their generous financial support,” said Mayor Tisdahl. “I would also like to thank Evanston resident Carolyn Murray for suggesting the idea, Northwestern University, the Cherry Family Foundation and NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) Evanston Hospital for their help and most generous financial support that will go far in removing dangerous weapons off our streets and protecting our innocent youth from gun violence.”
“There is no instant or single solution to the problem of gun violence, nor any way to undo the losses we have already suffered,” said Sara Schastok, president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation.
Northwestern University has donated $10,000; NorthShore Evanston Hospital has donated $1,000 and the Cherry Family Foundation has donated $5,000 to the program.
“We’re pleased to partner with the City of Evanston, the Evanston Community Foundation and others to provide funding for this program,” said Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro. “We appreciate Mayor Tisdahl’s leadership and the work of the Evanston Police Department in their efforts to help keep Evanston safe for everyone, including members of the Northwestern community.”
“We are committed to demonstrating our leadership to preserve and improve human life,” said Douglas Silverstein, president of NorthShore Evanston Hospital. “In an effort to extend NorthShore’s mission, we applaud and support the City of Evanston’s continuing efforts to prevent violence and ensure a safe community environment for all citizens.”
“The Cherry Family Foundation is responding to the mayor’s call for the reduction of weapons in order to reduce the potential of violence in the City of Evanston,” said David Cherry.
Firearms are a potential hazard in any home. Firearms can be stolen or used in an accidental shooting or a suicide. When guns are used in criminal attacks, the outcomes are often irreversible and fatal.
Guns are often used to settle disputes, which can have a devastating impact on communities and innocent victims. The access and availability of firearms is also associated with an increased risk of suicide in the home.