Winston-Salem police gain support for gun buyback funding

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Police Department’s funding request for a gun buyback program received unanimous support at Monday night’s Public Safety Committee meeting and is now being recommended to city council for approval.

Chief of Police Barry Rountree presented the proposal, which asks the city to match $10,000 in funding for a proposed gun buyback initiative.

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

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.

Chief Rountree tells FOX8 this is only one part 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.

The proposed gun buyback is expected to go before city council next week for final approval.