Rocky Mount, N.C. — Dozens of gun-toting residents showed up at the Rocky Mount Police Department on Thursday to put down their weapons and pick up a little cash.
The department hosted a “no questions asked” gun buyback program, an effort to make the city safer by giving residents a proper way to get rid of their unwanted guns.
“They’ve made it real easy,” Nashville resident Claudia Mull said. “Easy access in, and they do all the work.”
Earlier this week, Mull had no idea she would end up at the police station. She called a friend and asked her to come along.
“I said, ‘Do you want to come with me to the police department?’” Mull said. “She said, ‘What have you done now?’”
The city allocated $6,000 for the buyback program. Residents were paid $100 for an assault rifle, $75 for a handgun and $50 for a rifle or shotgun. Police even offered $5 for an air gun, BB gun, replica or nonworking gun.
“This is completely anonymous,” said Cpl. Michael Lewis with Rocky Mount police. “We don’t ask for any information on who the person is, who’s bringing in the weapon or how they got it.”
Mull sold two guns for $150.
“I still think it’s a good thing, especially if it’s an old gun,” she said.
William Oakley dropped off a 1908 Smith and Wesson Lemon Squeezer revolver.
“It’s passed down through several generations,” he said.
The department purchased 80 guns by late Thursday afternoon. Police said anyone who missed the program can contact the department for the next buyback date, or give up their guns to the department at any time without compensation.
“I feel good that somebody’s taking it that knows what to do with it,” Mull said.