Crawfordsville church wants to buy your semi-automatic weapons

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CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - This month, an Indiana church will buy semi-automatic weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity ammunition from anyone willing to turn them in.

In exchange, gun owners get gift cards for food.

The couple in Crawfordsville who created the plan believe it will protect children.

"Our faith tells us to do what we can. We need to start where we are," said David Hadley, member of Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church and retired professor at Wabash College.

As Christians and as former teachers, David and his wife Sheridan felt compelled to act when they watched young people, once again, gunned down at school.

"It breaks our heart, breaks our heart," Hadley said.

"When I saw those children running out, as we have, several times now, not just Parkland, it just upsets me," said Sheridan Hadley, a former elementary school teacher and principal. "It's terrifying to think that I would have to walk in the school and deal with the kinds of things the children and those people had to do."

So they decided to decrease the danger based on something their church had done before: buy back guns from the community.

It's something Wabash Avenue Presbyterian has done three times in previous years with success.

They've collected around 40 weapons, mostly old pistols, rusted rifles and guns people didn't want anymore.

But this time, the target is different and very specific.

"Our target is military-style semi-automatic weapons and accessories for those weapons that make them more lethal than they already are," David said. "Including bump stocks and large-capacity magazines."

In exchange, gun owners will get grocery store gift cards, paid for with grants and church donations.

"We will give $100 for a gun and $25 for accessories," David said.

Weapons turned in won't be on the streets.

In fact, they won't be around at all.

The plan is to melt them down at Nucor Steel.

"Some said what about taking these weapons and making them into some kind of Christian statue or something in remembrance, but these weapons have destroyed lives. They shouldn't be turned into something beautiful. I thought the destruction of the weapons made a lot more sense," Sheridan explained.

The Hadleys support the Second Amendment and own guns themselves, but they call the guns they're targeting weapons of mass destruction.

They believe because of the danger and because of their faith, others will be compelled to act, too.

"I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful," David said.

"We think maybe there are people in this community who have them and we know there are people in this community who care about children," Sheridan said.

"We are not expecting hundreds of people to show up, but if we can reduce the number of these guns in our community by two or three or five or even ten, that would be a lot," David said.

The buyback is set for the end of the month, April 28th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Crawfordsville police department station.

The church says any donated money not used to buy gift cards for gun owners who turn something in, will be given to organizations supporting common sense changes to our nation's gun laws.

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