Raleigh to hold gun buyback event Saturday. Here’s when and where to bring them.

Angelina Katsanis/akatsanis@newsobserver.com
·3 min read

The city of Raleigh and the Raleigh Police Department released details Monday for a gun buyback event being held this weekend.

The buyback will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Mount Peace Baptist Church, 1601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The city will offer gift cards worth up to $200 in exchange for gun. People can also turn in broken or damaged guns, as well as Airsoft, pellet, BB or paintball guns, but will not receive compensation for them.

The buyback isn’t meant to restrict gun ownership, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said.

“If you have a gun that you can’t secure, if you don’t feel comfortable owning a weapon, whatever it is,” Baldwin said. “We are just encouraging people to really focus on the safety aspects.”

For the buyback, the city and RPD will partner with the NAACP of Raleigh-Apex, and with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action, Baldwin said. The Raleigh Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, will also be a partner.

You must be at least 18 to participate in the buyback and must be in a motor vehicle with the unloaded weapon in the back. Enter the buyback zone via Raleigh Boulevard.

Plans for the buyback were inspired by two recent gun buybacks held in Durham County, Baldwin said.

A buyback earlier this month netted 295 guns, and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office had to turn some residents away even after increasing its budget for the event from $10,000 to $35,000.

Some Raleigh residents made the trip, waiting in in line up to three hours.

City staff members in Raleigh also looked to places like Houston, where a recent buyback brought in over 800 guns, Houston Public Media reported.

Gun violence prevention

Gun violence prevention is one of the city’s top policy goals for the year, Baldwin told The News & Observer.

“We are treating this with a sense of urgency,” she said.

Sixty-nine people were shot and more people were killed in Raleigh during the first half of this year than during the same period in either of the last two years, The N&O has reported.

At a July press conference, Michael Easley Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the state’s Eastern District, said “the proliferation of guns” is fueling gun violence.

“What we’re really focused on is safety,” Baldwin told The N&O. “When you look at statistics, it’s frightening.”

The buyback will be followed by an education campaign conducted with the N.C. Department of Public Safety. The city will focus on safe gun storage, the mayor said.

“What that means is don’t leave them in your unlocked vehicle,” Baldwin said. “Don’t place them in a drawer. Please leave them in a locked safe.”

Baldwin also said police are determining which areas of the city have the most crime in order to refocus resources where they are needed most.

The Raleigh City Council allocated $1 million to this program this year. Another $1 million went toward strengthening ACORNS, the city’s crisis navigation team bringing social workers to some police calls.

“The whole idea is to prevent gun violence before it happens,” Baldwin said.