DALLAS –– Bruce Buchanan is proud of the collection of worn pistol grips that he keeps in an old manila envelope. Running the Stew Pot for Dallas' homeless is his profession but getting guns off the streets is his passion.
"Something as small as this would look like a toy pistol," he said, holding up a pair of white plastic grips that once adorned a small pistol.
Across the country, communities have held gun buy back programs in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy. Los Angeles recently collected 2,037 guns, including a grenade launcher.
Buchanan and a group of volunteers are putting together Dallas' first since the tragedy, which is designed for gun owners who no longer want weapons but don't know what to do with them.
"We need to make communities and families safer and we try to do it one gun at a time," he said.
It's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 outside The Stew Pot at 1822 Young Street. Organizers will pay $50 cash for working handguns and rifles and $200 for semi-automatic assault rifles.
Buchanan's other buy backs over the years have collected 500 weapons. Even with the astonishing demand for guns right now, Buchanan said he thinks this still makes a difference.
"To know a family that has lost a child to an accidental gun death and you know that taking one gun away from a shoe box in the back of a closet makes a big difference," he said.
Metal components of weapons get destroyed but Buchanan saves pistol grips as mementos for financial donors who help pay for the program.