Fayetteville leaders consider gun buyback to reduce gun violence - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fayetteville leaders consider gun buyback to reduce gun violence

Posted: Updated:
Dr. John Godbolt talks about efforts to plan a gun buyback in Fayetteville. Dr. John Godbolt talks about efforts to plan a gun buyback in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Some leaders in the Fayetteville community want to try something new to reduce gun violence in the city. The area’s pastors coalition is working to organize a gun buyback.

Rev. Mark Rowden at Savannah Missionary Baptist Church is a driving force behind the coalition’s consideration of a buyback. He said the coalition has been thinking about the idea for years after hearing of other successful buybacks.

Rev. Dr. John Godbolt at Christ Gospel Church said the timing finally feels right. After some recent attention-getting gun violence and a subsequent anti-violence rally this summer, he said people seem ready to take more steps to reduce gun violence.

Every person who turns in a gun would, in exchange, receive a gift card for $75 to $150 Godbolt estimated. He said those amounts may increase by the time a buyback is organized.

Semi-automatic rifles or handguns would likely get higher-value gift cards than shotguns, Godbolt figured.

“You don’t expect one big, massive turnaround in one day,” Godbolt commented. “You start working one piece at a time. You celebrate your small successes. You see five, ten, here. You do it again. You get 20. You keep working until you see a major change, and that's what's important to us.”

Godbolt said local law enforcement and the District Attorney are now talking about the possibility of a gun buyback too.

Rowden and Goldbolt said they are now working to get more sponsorships to pay for the incentives during a buyback. One the money is raised, a buyback will be planned, possible in the next few months.

Chief Harold Medlock has already offered amnesty for people who turn in guns. At the rally earlier this summer he said he wanted people to turn in guns that were illegal or in the hands of people who should not have them. He said there would be “no questions asked” about any gun handed over to the police department.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.

  • Trending Stories on WNCN.com

Powered by WorldNow