PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Saving one life or even two makes a difference — that’s the goal of a gun buyback event scheduled in Philadelphia on Saturday. It comes as the city deals with an alarming number of shootings and homicides in just the first few weeks of 2021.

Friday’s double murder in Bustleton added to a growing deadly trend in the city of Philadelphia.

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“As of today, we have 35 murders,” Bilal Qayyum said. “If we keep at the pace of the day, we will go over 499 murders.”

So Qayyum organized an event to try to stop the shootings and killings that are plaguing the city.

“We are sponsoring a gun buyback,” Qayyum said.

The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday until 2 p.m. at two locations in the city. You can drop off any working handgun or semi-automatic firearm at Yesha Ministries in the 2300 block of Snyder Avenue or Greater Exodus Baptist Church on North Broad Street.

“We will give them a $100 gift certificate to Jeff Brown’s ShopRite,” Qayyum said.

Besides the more than 30 killed, there have been dozens more injured in shootings throughout the city. On Saturday, Qayyum says he hopes to get 100 guns off the streets and hopes this program will lead to a decrease in crime throughout Philadelphia.

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“We don’t know what gun is out there that is going to be used by a shooter and take someone’s life,” Qayyum said. “We can’t predict that, so you can save a life.”

Qayyum says he has secured donations for at least four other gun buybacks planned for this year.

For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.


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