Durham police bought 75 guns from residents Saturday. It is their third - and most successful - gun buyback program to date. Officers set up shop in four locations instead of just one. They also doubled the face value of the K-Mart and Harris Teeter vouchers they are trading for guns.
"Before we were giving $50 for a handgun, today, we're giving $100 vouchers for a handgun and $50 for a long gun," says Sgt. Ray Taylor.
The police will run checks to make sure the guns were not stolen. The State Bureau of Investigation will conduct ballistic tests to see if they match bullets from crime scenes. Police bought back 39 guns before Saturday's program. None have been linked to any of Durham's 21 murders or any other crime.
"We don't really expect criminals to bring in their guns," Taylor says. "If they want to, that would be nice."
Police admit the criminal element is not likely to show up at the buyback. They say buying guns from law-abiding residents can prevent deadly weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
"Guns that could be stolen from someone's home," Taylor says. "Guns that could be involved in an accident with a child. Guns that could be involved in an attempted suicide."
Police have spent thousands of dollars to collect about 114 guns. Saturday's buyback is the last for the summer, while police decide if the program is worth continuing.