Supporters of gun buyback event spread the word

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:40 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke’s first gun buyback is three weeks away. Friday morning, supporters of the ‘Groceries Not Guns’ event hit the street to spread the word.

“We’ve got 1,200 door hangers,” said Del. Sam Rasoul (D-11). “With this group I feel like I should have gotten 5,000.”

Rasoul provided the door hangers and the direction. Representatives of Total Action for Progress, United Way, Goodwill and other organizations helped with the delivery.

They fanned out through nearby neighborhoods, taking information about the gun buyback, and COVID vaccinations, to hundreds of doorsteps in the city.

“This is my community. I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Chris Graves, explaining why he wanted to distribute information about the event.

“Just want to see all of these kids get a chance,” added Rob Bryant, his co-worker at TAP.

The cards they delivered provided details about the ‘Groceries, Not Guns’ event on August 21st at 401 Gainsboro Road NW (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) and the offer of a grocery store gift card in exchange for a gun. Visit the ‘Groceries, Not Guns’ Facebook page for more on the process.

Supporters of the effort said they want to make sure everyone gets the word.

Annette Lewis is the President and CEO of Total Action for Progress.

“We’re making a statement by joining together, working together to make sure people know this is possible,” Lewis told WDBJ7. “We can do something. Each of us in our own way.”

“It lets people who are causing violence know that we are not a violent city and that we want the violence to stop,” added Roanoke City Council member Joe Cobb. “And this is a very tangible way for us to begin to do that.”

Supporters of the ‘Groceries, not Guns’ event say they would like to blanket the city with fliers.

They hope to head into other neighborhoods between now and August 21st.

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