Winston-Salem police present revised gun buyback proposal

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A plan to conduct a gun buyback program is heading to a vote by the Winston-Salem City Council.

The city council’s public safety committee voted unanimously Monday to bring the proposed buyback to the full council. No date was proposed.

Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree presented the revised gun buyback proposal Monday night that addressed questions and concerns by city leaders and included additional options.

City council postponed making a decision when the idea was first put on the table back in November.

Under the proposed gun buyback, people would be paid to turn in unwanted guns to Winston-Salem police; a program officers say is one part of a comprehensive plan to address concerns about gun-related violence.

One alternative described by Chief Rountree includes a Safe Surrender program. This would allow people to hand over guns to the city but without the cash incentive.

WSPD suggests a $150 payout for assault weapons, $100 for handguns and $75 for shotguns under the proposed gun buyback.

Rountree is asking Winston-Salem City Council to match $10,000 for the program. The department says it would raise the other half through community donations and forfeiture funds.

The buyback proposal received unanimous support at November’s Public Safety Committee meeting but stalled at the following city council regular meeting.

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