DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham County Sheriff’s Office hosted a gun buyback program at two locations on Saturday.
The goal was to get people to sell them their weapons that they don’t want anymore, or don’t feel like they can have responsibly. Nearly 150 guns were collected in total Saturday, the sheriff’s office later said.
Car after car lined up at the Durham County Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning, each one had a gun inside, ready to trade in for cash.
“We don’t have an expectation for this. We don’t have a goal. What I want to do is get the message out that if you’re going to be a gun owner, let’s be a responsible gun owner,” said Sheriff Clarence Birkhead.
Birkhead said the buyback starts at $100 for rifles and shotguns. People could get $150 for handguns and $200 for assault rifles.
He explained that the first two times the sheriff’s office hosted the event were pretty successful: they collected more than 400 weapons.
“This is absolutely anonymous. And what this is this is a public safety initiative. And what I mean by that is unsecured weapons end up on our streets,” Birkhead added.
He also said he knows this may not be the solution to gun violence, but Birkhead believes it’s a good start, to help get unwanted guns into responsible hands.
“If you’re going to be a gun owner, let’s be a responsible gun owner. If you’re going to have weapons in your home, store them properly. And so, it’s as much education as it is us collecting those unwanted weapons or those weapons that can’t be secured properly,” said Birkhead. “It’s all about mitigating the risk and eliminating the possibility of those weapons, ending up on our streets.”
While CBS 17 crews were at the event, there were about 18 to 20 cars with people who traded in guns during a one-hour time period.
Officials later said 74 guns were collected at the Durham County Stadium site while 73 firearms were turned in at the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church location.
“It was very encouraging to see the local community turn out in large numbers to voluntarily turn in working guns of varying types and models,” Birkhead said in a news release later Saturday afternoon.