ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany Police Department (APD) and the City of Albany are hosting a gun buyback event on April 1. It will be from 2-6 p.m at the Albany Civic Center.
They are offering free gun locks. Also, if you turn in a gun, you get a Visa gift card.
APD said although the gun buyback won’t stop crime, they’re using it as a strategy to remove unwanted handguns.
Cpt. Benita Childs with APD said the target weapons are handguns.
She said this is because of the recent violent crimes and aggravated assaults involving them but that’s not the only reason.
“We will get those out of the hands of potential children, persons who may be depressed and contemplating suicide, and then get them out of the hands of the criminal element that may try to break into your cars and houses and steal your guns,” said Childs.
She said since the pandemic, more people suffer from depression.
“If they don’t have a gun in the home, then that’s not an option for them at that moment. Children go into closets. They find guns in cushions of couches. And we don’t want them to mistake that for a toy and utilize it,” said Childs.
She breaks down how the buyback process will work.
“You will have an unloaded weapon that will be placed in the trunk of the car. So at no time, will the person driving or passenger is allowed to touch any weapon. At the checkpoint, the officer will inspect the weapon that’s unloaded in the trunk signal by radio that yes, it’s a go,” said Childs.
She said at that point, the person will receive a gift card.
City Commissioner Chad Warbington said the value of the gift card will be determined by the gun.
“Someone there that is skilled in guns will determine what level of gift cards. It may be a $100 gift card, $150 gift card or it may be 4 or 5 hundred dollars in a gift card. It really depends on the type of gun,” said Warbington.
He said there will be no questions asked.
“We’re not taking names, we’re not registering who it is. Simply if you have a gun that you want to get rid of, the city will give you a gift card,” said Warbington.
Warbington says they are looking for some wins over gun violence.
“If we can get one, two, three, four, ten guns that could possibly be used for a crime or a violent act, that’s the success of the program,” said Warbington.
He said they’re excited about the buyback and encourages the community to participate.
Both Warbington and Cpt. Childs said if they see some success in the event, they will plan to have more.
The money used in this event is donated by businesses in the community.
If you would like to donate, you can call (229) 302- 0700 and ask for Cpt. Benita Childs.