A South Florida boxing gym is taking a stand against gun violence in hopes of making our neighborhoods safer. A gun buyback event is being held in Miami this weekend.
"We need you guys to turn in your guns. We need the community from all over Miami-Dade County to show up and show out because too many young people have been shot or killed by senseless gun violence," said Rev. Jerome Starling, Jordan Grove Baptist Church.
Rev. Starling has been organizing gun buyback events since his niece, Rikiah Issacs, was killed by a stray bullet 19 years ago.
"It's a shame that a kid's gotta be killed for the community to get involved," he expressed.
"It's not just the black community, it's not just Miami Gardens, it's everywhere. Let's not wait until the problem comes to your backyard, let's go to wherever the problem is and rid the neighborhood of illicit guns," said Bernard Jennings, organizer.
The plan is to give people $100 gift cards for each working gun they turn in and $50 gift cards for guns that don't work.
The Heavyweight Factory boxing gym in Hollywood is sponsoring the event and donating $100,000 for the gun buyback. The owner of the gym grew up in Liberty City.
"It makes everybody feel good, lead by example, not just talk, and put your money where your mouth is, then everybody else will join in as well," said Dr. Lenny Moore, Heavyweight Factory.
"Let's put the guns down, let's not hurt each other," said Riddick Bowe, former heavyweight champion.
Police said gun buybacks have a tangible impact on shooting incidents and every gun counts.
"That's something that any child could find in the house and that one gun that could've been turned in last week, could prevent someone from dying," said Frederica Burden with Miami Police.
The event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jordan Grove Baptist Church at 5946 Northwest 12th Avenue in Miami.
Last year's event collected more than 600 guns.