Reba McEntire Offers Tickets for Guns
BY Bill Swindell
Jan 25, 1994
Country music star Reba McEntire said she will trade 100
tickets to her Feb. 19 Mabee Center show to people who turn
in guns to the Tulsa Police Department on Tuesday.
The exchange program will begin at 9 a.m. at the property
room in the downtown police station and will be administered
on a "first come, first served" basis, said Sgt. Steve
The program will continue through Friday or until 100 guns
Police Chief Ron Palmer welcomed McEntire's efforts, adding
that he is working with local groups to put a communitywide
exchange program in place.
"I think it's great she wants to do this for us," Palmer
said. "I think more of the public is becoming aware that
guns are a real problem for us, and we're appreciative of
McEntire, a Stringtown native, came up with the idea Jan.
16 while watching a television show about a similar program
the Dallas Cowboys had sponsored, said Jenny Bouler, McEntire's
"She wants them off the streets," Bouler said. "If only
one gun gets off the street that will be good, because maybe
it'll be one less gun that won't show up in a classroom."
McEntire is making similar offers for a Feb. 18 show in
Waco, Texas, and a Feb. 20 concert in Tyler, Texas.
"We looked at her schedule and found that we would have
to pull tickets for shows that haven't gone on sale yet,"
Bouler said. "These were the first shows that came up."
McEntire performs about 125 dates a year, she said.
"She's really concerned with violence among children,"
Bouler said. "She at least wants to make an effort. She's
saying, `Here's what I can do,' and now is asking some other
entertainers and the public to get involved."
Palmer said he's unsure how Tulsans will respond to McEntire's
"Hopefully this will lead to other things," he said. "I
think it's very important to make the effort with private
Palmer said he has been negotiating with some community
leaders for a citywide program, financed entirely with private
"We haven't gotten it off the ground yet, but I think it
will be something that is all encompassing," he said. "I
think people have finally awakened and started smelling
the violence that has struck home, or next door or around
The gun buy-back programs won national attention last month,
when an effort in New York resulted in 375 firearms exchanged
for $100 gift certificates to Toys R Us.
Similar efforts have taken off in other cities.
"I don't know how much of a difference it'll make," he
said. "But if it's one less gun off the streets used in
an assault or a homicide, it would be worth it.
"The final outcome will be hard to gauge," Palmer said.
All guns will be checked to see if they have been stolen
or used in other crimes. Then they will be destroyed, he
Police officials said handguns should be carried in a sack
or a container and should not be concealed or publicly shown,
Rifles should be unloaded with the breach or slide open,
if possible. Entry to the police station downtown is to
be made at the east door on the ground level, he said.