Winston-Salem police request funding for gun buyback program

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Police Department is asking city council to match $10,000 in funding for a proposed gun buyback initiative.

The request comes after growing concern for gun violence across Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree says the department would raise the other half of the $20,000 initiative through forfeiture funds and community donations.

A gun buyback allows people to turn in their guns with no questions asked for money.

If approved, the department will have to look at how to get rid of the guns once collected.

A new law that took effect this year prohibits law enforcement agencies from destroying most guns that are seized or taken through gun buybacks. Instead, officers must keep the guns, donate or sell to a licensed dealer.

Winston-Salem Assistant City Manager Derwick Paige says that defeats the purpose and that the city would find ways to make sure the guns weren’t sold and put back on the streets.

Chief Rountree tells FOX8 this only one party of a larger plan to reduce gun violence in Winston-Salem.

That plan includes working with community partners, prosecutors and other local law enforcement agencies for education and extra enforcement.

On Monday, the proposed gun buyback initiative will go before the city’s public safety committee for recommendation then head to city council next week for final approval.

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