Gun buybacks are not a new idea, but a group in Ludington is targeting a single style of weapon.
The Starfish Buyback Task Force is teaming up with the city of Ludington and hosting a gun buyback program Saturday at the police department from 1-4 p.m. The group is only accepting assault style weapons.
“We can’t have that in our community,” said Task Force member Brenda Reeber.
Reeber watched what happened at Uvalde and immediately wanted to do something in her hometown of Ludington, anything, even the littlest movement to make Mason County safer.
“We knew that a national ban was not on the agenda,” said Reeber. “But we thought, even if we had a ban again, there would still be millions of assault weapons out there.”
It’s called the Starfish Buyback Program, and that might seem like a strange name for a gun program but it all comes back to the “Starfish and the Young Boy on the Beach” fable.
As the story goes, a young boy is walking along the beach and sees hundreds of starfish stranded along the sand. He picks one up individually and throws it back in and goes back and gets another one and throws it back in. Soon a stranger comes by and asks him what he’s doing. The boy explains he’s saving the starfish. The stranger says there’s just too many of them, there’s no way you could make it and save them all. But as the boy picks up another one and throws it back in the water, he goes, “But I did save that one. It meant everything to that one,” and that’s how they’re approaching the gun problem.
“If the guns come from Mason County or from California, we don’t care,” said Reeber. “We just want to get them out of the hands of civilians.”
Here’s how it will work:
Anybody can bring an assault style weapon to the Ludington police, no questions asked, totally anonymous. Police will check the weapon and decide if it is eligible. If it is, the person gets a $300 gift card to a big box store.
What is eligible?
Any semi automatic rifle with detachable magazines and has two or more of the following:
- folding stock
- pistol grip
- bayonet mount
- flash hider
- grenade launcher
- barrel shroud.
Collected guns will be destroyed by the Michigan State Police.
Reeber has no idea how many, if any will show up. But she says that’s okay because if just one gun is taken off the streets, she is happy.
“It’s the starfish story,” said Reeber. “One action at a time will make a difference.”