COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus Police will be at four locations around the city next week to buy unwanted weapons as the department kicks off its gun buyback program.
Two officers will be in the Walmart parking lot, Sim Scott Park, Townsend Park and East Columbus gym from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The department will pay $20 for BB guns and air pistols, $100 for handguns, $200 for rifles and shotguns and $300 for assault rifles.
The guns must be operational.
Police say the program is not a single answer to reducing violence and crime but say it has worked in other cities as part of a broader effort to get unused, stolen and other weapons off the streets.
“If it prevents one crime or one person from being shot or one child from being injured accidently, it’s worth it,” Police Chief Selvain McQueen said. “This isn’t a panacea or a cure, but it is one more tool to try to insure safety.
“We doubt criminals will bring in their guns. But if it stops someone from becoming a victim of a burglary because they have a gun at home that they no longer use, then that’s part of it,” the chief added.