'You can get guns everywhere': Advocates seek solutions to Durham's gun violence problem

Akilah Davis Image
Friday, April 7, 2023
Advocates seek solutions to Durham's gun violence problem
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Advocates in Durham are seeking solutions for gun violence in the community.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- From college dropout to drug dealer, it's a lifestyle Torrey Green lived back in the day. The 48-year-old says there's an underground economy that thrives on buying and selling stolen weapons.

"You can get these guns from everywhere," he said. "A lot of guns come from people's houses being broken in or either cars being broken in."

Green has lived the life and knows first-hand how guns get to the streets. He said there's an alarming new trend where kids are going online to buy gun parts and using YouTube to build them.

"It's what the public or police call ghost guns. These guns are untraceable with no serial number. Our young men have figured out how to buy pieces of a gun and put them together," said Green.

He said recently his family member discovered her son was having gun parts shipped to her home.

"It was a hard thing for her to accept because a lot of times we don't think our child is part of this ghost gun thing happening out here," Green said.

Last August, the Durham Sheriff's Office held a gun buyback event collecting nearly 300 firearms. Ten of them were military-style weapons. It's something community advocates say contributes to the gun violence in the Bull City.

"We're not going to take this anymore," said community advocate Walter Jackson.

He's organizing a community conversation around gun violence and believes there is strength in numbers.

"People listen when enough people get on board. What this is about tonight is getting people on board. The civil rights movement started with just a few people," Jackson said.

He is not the only one in search of solutions. Green, who is now a changed man, wants the same.

"Durham should be on prevention. I can't think we're wanting prevention if we're building a new youth detention center," said Green.

ALSO SEE: 'Tired of the violence': Students step up to stop gun violence in Durham

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