COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – While gun control is being highly debated throughout the country, the Columbus Police Department held its first “Gun Buyback program” to help keep guns off the streets.
And while it’s unclear whether the program kept any weapons out of the hands of bad guys, it did go through the allocated $10,000 in less than four hours, forcing the police department to shut down today’s schedule more than two hours early and cancel buy backs scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’re out, we’re done, we’re out of money and unless we get more money from the city, we’re done for now,” Police Department spokesperson Glenda Buckhalter said Monday afternoon.
It’s a program that’s being used by law enforcement agencies around the nation. Supporters say this is better than simply throwing their old guns away.
The program is designed to reduce the number of illegal firearms on the streets as well as deter thieves from burglarizing homes in search of guns. One participant says he supports the program 100 percent.
“I’ve got some old guns that I need to just dispose of. This is an opportunity to do that rather than just throw them away,” said one participant.
“I think if you’re going to own a firearm, you need to be committed to having the appropriate training. You need to be able to operate it safely and you need to be able to secure it in its environment. For those folks who aren’t willing to do that I believe this is a great option,” he continued.
Cash offers for guns ranged from $10 to $300 depending on the firearm. Other locations included Sim Scott Park, the East Columbus Gym, and the Townsend Park.
Rifles and shotguns, which were traded for $200 in cash, were popular items.