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Guns bought back won't be destroyed for months


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.

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