Hundreds of guns exchanged Saturday at RPD gun buyback event

Anthony Wilson Image
Saturday, August 20, 2022
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Saturday attracted many takers to Raleigh for the RPD gun buyback event.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saturday attracted many takers to Raleigh for the RPD gun buyback event. A long line of cars wound through the parking lot of Mount Peace Baptist Church and along a stretch of Martin Luther King Boulevard.

"We have the opportunity to get some of those guns that may be in homes, or may be in cars, that may be a part of theft," Gerald Givens Jr. of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP said. "And they cause injury, and harm to others."

"We're getting shotguns, we're getting rifles, we're getting handguns, revolvers. Just about everything's coming through right now," RPD Chief Estella Patterson said.

The exchange process happened inside a restricted area of the parking lot some distance from onlookers and ABC11 cameras, but officers could be seen checking and accepting firearms from people who drove up with guns they no longer wanted.

"Make sure that the firearm is unloaded. That it's safely stored in the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. Please don't get out of your car. Officers are here, they will come right up to your car, exchange the weapon and get the paperwork with it," Chief Patterson said.

Givens is sadly familiar with the consequences of shots fired when emotions are high.

"I've lost six family members to gun violence," he said. "I've lost my grandfather, my brother and three cousins."

The exchange, using gift cards valued up to $200, was scheduled between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. however, Chief Patterson said it should keep conversations about gun safety going long after they accept the last gun of the day.

"This is not just a gun buyback. This is an opportunity to educate the public about gun safety. We're giving out brochures. We have some of our partners who are here, also working with us. And we have locks available for the people who want them," she said.

Those partners include the Raleigh-Apex Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the North Carolina Chapter of Moms Demand Action, and the Raleigh Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.