After Durham’s successful and safe collection of nearly 300 guns earlier this month, Raleigh is following suit. The city is hosting a gun buyback this Saturday in an effort to reduce gun violence and improve public safety. 

Raleigh police officers will be collecting guns from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mount Peace Baptist Church (1601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Raleigh). They’re offering gift cards worth up to $200 in exchange for guns. People can also turn in broken or damaged guns, or Airsoft, pellet, BB, or paintball guns, but will not be compensated for them. 

The buyback event was inspired by two similar events in Durham that drew hundreds of people, including Raleigh residents. Interest in turning in guns continued even after Durham’s first buyback event in April, according to Durham County Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead. He told the News & Observer that people called wanting to turn in guns because they now had small children or had inherited weapons owned by deceased family members. 

Even though Durham held a second buyback event, and increased the second event’s budget from $10,000 to $35,000, law enforcement officers still had to turn people away, according to Birkhead. 

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin says this week’s buyback event coincides with one of the city’s top goals for the year—preventing gun violence. The buyback is not meant to discourage gun ownership but to encourage gun safety, she says. The event is being held in partnership with the Raleigh-Apex NAACP and the state chapter of Moms Demand Action. 

To participate in the buyback, you must be at least 18 years old. Participants must arrive and remain in a car or truck throughout the event, according to a news release.

Firearms should be stored in the trunk, truck bed, or rear cargo area and within a case, box, bag, or secured with a gun lock. Raleigh police will secure and remove each firearm from the vehicle.

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