Churches buying back guns for $50 to keep them off the streets; worth it 'if one life is saved', says pastor

(Photo: Alan Giagnocavo)

Guns aren't something you would normally see in church, but they're the very thing churches in Alabama are wanting to see more of. 

Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and other churches in the Northwest Huntsville area are doing their bit to help reduce gun crime by offering gun owners $50 for their weapons, reports.  

The money to buy the guns back has been raised by members of Union Chapel and other donations.

The promise of $50 was obviously a good enough reason for some to part with their guns as the campaign has already yielded a crop.

Guns handed in so far include a shotgun and automatics.  In exchange for their weapons, the church is handing over a $50 prepaid credit card. 

The guns will be checked by police to see if they were stolen or used in crime, before being handed on to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The gun buyback was started by the churches following a string of shootings in the area.  In one incident, innocent bystander 18-year-old Ashia Raquel Oliver was killed on June 18.  Her mother was a lifelong member of Chapel Union.

Union Chapel's the Rev Dr Wendell O Davis told that the larger goal was to send evangelism teams into the community and help put an end to violence.

He said: "I know we're not even scratching the surface in terms of getting guns off the street.  But if one life is saved as a result, then it will be worth it."