WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you didn’t line up early, you didn’t get a shot at cash for guns this weekend in Wilmington.
“There were so many people around that at one point, we didn’t know what to do with them,” said event organizer Patrick Holmes. “But the Lord blessed us that we were able to reach into our own pockets to get some more money. People were also willing to take an I owe you.”
Organizers scheduled the Proutey-Greene Gun Buyback effort from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, but the money was gone shortly after the event kicked off at all three locations. Organizers say they were surprised to turn away more guns than they could take in, but were happy to provide the community with an outlet for unwanted weapons.
“Even after the money was depleted, individuals said just take the gun,” said LINC Executive Director Frankie Roberts. “They just really wanted to get it out of the house and did not know of a way to surrender it.”
Deputy Chief Mitch Cunningham of the Wilmington Police Department said the buyback turned over 23 rifles and shotguns, and 44 handguns. The program spent around $4,000.
“While we are not necessarily going to tie this to immediate reduction in violence, it is immediate reduction in potential for violence with less weapons on the street,” said Cunningham.
Organizers say that was the main goal.
“I think anytime you can get guns off of the street it creates an environment where people feel more safe,” said Roberts.
LINC Incorporated and other volunteers will likely host another buyback this November.