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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s first ever gun buy-back effort took nearly 70 weapons off the street this weekend, but where do the guns go now?

Wilmington Police and churches traded cash for guns this weekend in honor of Joshua Proutey, 19, and Demetrius Greene, 8, both innocent victims of gun violence in the Port City. The Proutey-Greene gun buyback rounded up 67 weapons.

“I think any time you can get guns off the street, it kind of creates an environment where people feel more safe,” said Frankie Roberts, executive director of LINC and an organizer of the buyback effort.

Organizers say they were happy to provide the community with an outlet for unwanted weapons, which have a long journey ahead of them before they are ultimately destroyed.

“First of all, we are going to check to see if they are stolen,” Wilmington’s Deputy Police Chief Mitch Cunningham said.

The guns collected are in the hands of the Wilmington Police Department for at least the next six months while police look for any rightful owners.

“It goes into an add in the paper for 30 days, and then ultimately a judge will sign an order for their destruction,” Cunningham said.

Police and organizers say the buyback was never intended for investigative purposes, but instead to allow the community to get rid of guns no strings attached.

“The less guns that are out there, the less chance they will end up in the wrong hands and be used to commit a crime,” Cunningham said.

Organizers plan to team up with police for another gun buyback in November.

Comment on this Story

  • Yiff

    I know some robbers out there must be breathing a sigh of relief with less armed citizens out there to protect themselves. They probably paid a little better than the Pawnshops do (legal robbery) so they can buy some beer now.

    Maybe a better deal would be exchange for an old bullet proof vest cause they’ll need it.

    If you want criminals to turn in guns you need to give them a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.

    Give the guns to trained and deputized citizens. We can’t afford to be buying up used guns. My gosh your gonna put the Pawnshops out of business (less robbers..though)

  • Harry Balscak

    Mr Cunningham is out of touch with reality, thanks to Obamas radical demagoguing against the 2nd Amendment there are more guns being bought than ever in history. Maybe the police can demand everybody turn theirs in to a church “buyback” so the “streets will be safer” LOL! Fairydust and moonbeam fantasy policing. You want to stop the thugs? Get out of your cars and start walking the hoods where the gangs are hanging out. Use an overwhelming presence to round up the thugs, THEN keep them in jail instead of the DA and judges letting them right back out! In the meantime regular citizens should use their God vested human right of self defense to make a stand against these scum.

  • Kemo Sabi

    “Organizers plan to team up with police for another gun buyback in November.”
    This is great, crooks need time to steal legal guns, and then get paid by a Church or the Po Po.

    Were there any pistol permits bought by the church?
    No background checks?
    No paper trail at all?

    Yes my friends, the chief and pastors have shown us it pays to steal.
    They have demonstrated that crime pays.

    Any murder weapons in the group? I hope they check for that while they check for the legal owners. Now they have been handled by so many people, dna couldn’t be used in a case.

    The only way to stop killers is to defend yourself. Even the ultra-modern mobile command center, quick response, or super duper police can’t be there when the crime occurs. They will however notify your family that they have every confidence that gun will show up at the local church.

    Thieves don’t pay for guns.

    The real question is how many homes were burglarized of firearms.
    And why no one has been arrested for them.
    Don’t worry, Novembers not that far away.

  • GuestTigercat

    You must have been living under a rock with the stupid questions and comments you posted> The police said beforehand “turn the guns in–no questions asked” plus the church’s didnt buy the guns. They just allowed the gun buybacks to be held at the church’s property.
    Of course the serial numbers would be checked to see if the guns had been stolen so they could be returned to the rightful owners
    Try to get your info right before running your mouth !!

  • Guest2020

    They are not checking for murder weapons or dna. They are buying these guns, no questions asked. That means that if any of the guns were used in a crime, those guns will not be used as evidence.

  • Guest333

    The public is fools. 4 times a year, the county sales guns at their own gun show. You are so gullible.

  • guesty

    It isn’t too late for you to go back to school. The county doesn’t “sales” anything because they don’t have a gun show. There is a gun show that uses New Hanover County Law Enforcement Officer Association Shooting Range and that isn’t run or operated by the county.

    Please tell us again how the “public is fools.”


    How many thugs and crimnals brought their guns? Im sure most werent even up that early in morn. These guns were returned mostly by law abiding citizens that had extras. How much crime is being prevented. Government really knows how to get what they want from the american citizens. 70 guns = $$$$$$$$

  • ncmyk

    apparently, none of these people have been following their state government this session.

    the republicans have passed a bill prohibiting police from destroying guns and judges can no longer sign an order for their destruction as the article says.

    if they haven’t destroyed them already, its too late.


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