MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A gun buy-back program hosted in an effort to reduce future crime in the city of Memphis is drawing controversy in the community. 

The event hosted by Memphis Police and sponsored by Kroger will take place on Saturday, November 13th at Hickory Ridge Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are offering $50 gifts cards for handguns and $100 for assault rifles. Participants can also remain anonymous while submitting firearms.

In an effort to prevent another shooting, initiatives like this are underway, but not without discussion on how it should be done. 

State representative Antonio Parkinson said he hopes to get future legislation passed to prevent events like these from happening.

“Number one, people need the ability to protect themselves number one. Secondly, I think it’s a bit exploitive,” Parkinson said. “I think there are good intentions behind these ideas behind these programs. I think the program is a bit antiquated. I think it’s time to do something new is I think it’s better for us to educate the citizens especially with us being in a culture now where anybody and everybody has access to a gun without a permit.”

Community activists like Stevie Moore are happy to see something being done to try to reduce violence.  Right now Memphis is on pace to surpass last year’s record number of homicides.

“The only problem I see is they don’t do it often enough. I’m admiring law enforcement for coming and join because it sends a message to the community that they care, they care about the community because a large part of the community don’t trust law enforcement,” Moore said.