Citizens of one American city were asked to turn guns and ammunition over to police with the help of a local church.
Residents of the city — Greensboro, N.C. – also were encouraged to sign “a pledge of nonviolence.”
The event held on Nov. 14 was not a weapons buyback, because no money was exchanged for guns, police assured The Greensboro News & Record. Instead, the first 1,000 people who turned in weapons at Destiny Christian Center were to receive an unidentified small gift.
During the event any person over 18 years of age could turn in unloaded handguns, rifles or shotguns. After turning in the guns, people were asked to sign a pledge of nonviolence. Those who turned in the weapons were to remain anonymous.
Police said they would then check to see if the guns were lost or stolen, and if they were, the guns would be returned to legal owners.
People who missed the event can turn in unwanted weapons by calling the Greensboro Police Department’s non-emergency line.
The gun turn-in and the nonviolence pledge are apparently part of the Greensboro Police Department’s effort to deal with a 68 percent increase in gun violence over the past year, The News & Record reported.
Buybacks More Common Than You Think
Such program are more common than you think, and they sometimes get corporate sponsorship.
The Wegmans supermarket chain donated $15,000 in gift cards for a gun buyback that was held by the Rochester, New York, Police Department. During that event, police traded $19,350 worth of Wegmans’ gift cards for 228 functional firearms, including 160 handguns, The Democrat & Chronicle newspaper reported. (The police department had donated $5,000 worth of gift cards.)
Gun buyback programs always are controversial, especially in light of Australia’s rigid gun control laws that started with a national mandatory gun buyback program during the mid-90s. Critics have labeled that program a mass confiscation of guns.
Not all Australians are fans of gun control.
“We are a nation of victims,” Senator David Leyonhjelm, who represents the state of New South Wales in Australia’s parliament, told NRA News. “You cannot own a gun for self-defense … the criminals still have guns.”
Leyonhjelm warned Americans not to emulate Australia’s gun control efforts, and he criticized Hillary Clinton for praising the Australia model.
What do you think of gun buyback programs? Are they a good or bad idea? Share your thoughts in the section below: