St. Gregory the Great Parish in Baltimore collected more than 40 guns through a buyback program sponsored by The Catholic Review July 16 and continuing through July 19 as The Catholic Review went to press.
“They were very serious guns,” said Monsignor Damien Nalepa, pastor of St. Gregory the Great. “One of those was a Glock automatic.”
Monsignor Damien said as many 45 were expected to be collected by July 19. Most were from families who said they felt unsafe with guns in their houses that included children. More than $2,000 was given out for the guns.
St. Wenceslaus Parish, another participant in the buyback program, collected 11 guns July 16.
“It may be a small step, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Third Order Regular Franciscan Peter Lyons, the parish’s pastor. “In most cases, there was a sense of relief. People said, ‘I don’t want this in my house.’”
The Catholic Review has sponsored the gun buyback program for three years. St. Gregory has collected 300 guns since 2007.
“It’s not the final solution to the violence,” Monsignor Nalepa said. “But, we definitely believe it has an impact on reducing violence in the home.”
St. Wenceslaus also participated in the program, but the number of guns collected was not available as The Catholic Review went to press.