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American Civic Association Hosts Groceries For Guns

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Binghamton’s American Civic Association hosted the fifth annual ‘Groceries For Guns’ exchange this Saturday. The event called upon those with firearms to turn them in for the price of supermarket gift cards.

Previously held at St. James Church in Johnson City, ‘Groceries For Guns’ yielded at around 50 firearms each year. The Binghamton Police Department and Broome County Sheriff David Harder ensured that each gun donated was in working condition but maintained a ‘no questions asked’ policy for owners.  

Jack Gilroy, President of Veterans For Peace, said the event provides an important service for people who no longer wish to have guns in their home.

"There were people who had guns in their home who did not want to have guns. There are mothers and grandmothers that find a gun in an attic or a drawer that they have never used and they worry about children getting a hold of them. There is no connection between safety and guns in the home. Many times there’s a greater chance of someone dying or being wounded by having a gun at home." - Jack Gilroy, Veterans For Peace

Organizers planned to melt down the donated guns to create a sculpture for the Association commemorating peace. In 2009, 13 people lost their lives during a mass shooting at the American Civic Association. Gilroy said Guns For Groceries is an important reminder of the tragedy.

"It's not spoken about by an awful lot by people anymore. People wanted to get rid of that thought. But we wanted to bring the reminder that guns in any form can be dangerous.” - Jack Gilroy, Veterans For Peace