Dozens of guns collected during buy back
Published 5:49 pm Saturday, November 7, 2015
As dozens of guns lined a table outside of Macedonia Apostolic Church Saturday, pastor Robert Pettus wasn’t sure what those guns were used for, whether they were used for protection or used to commit a crime.
But Pettus was sure about one thing. None of the guns collected will ever be used to hurt or rob anyone again.
“We’ll never get all of them, but the ones we get won’t be used to commit any crimes,” Pettus said. “We’ll have those taken care of.”
Pettus and his church teams up with the Selma Police Department and city government each year to hold the buyback. Just like previous buybacks, Pettus said this one was a success.
“I feel like every gun that we do get off the street is a success,” Pettus said. “I feel like it is a great success, and we’re getting the guns out of harm’s way.”
The guns turned in Saturday were of all shapes and sizes. People turned in handguns, shotguns and rifles, each one worth $75 in cash.
While some of them looked like normal weapons used to protect homes, others were modified with barrels and stocks sawed off.
Selma Police Chief John Brock said this year’s buyback got 51 guns off the streets.
Brock said each gun taken off the street is one less crime that is committed or one less person that will lose their life due to gun violence.
“If we only brought in three guns today, it is a success,” Brock said. “Whatever we get in is a success, and whatever [money] we don’t use, we’ll use it for another program. We’ll keep doing this until we get as many as we can off the street.”
Chief Brock, pastor Pettus and the many others that played a role in the gun buyback hope getting guns off the street will lessen Selma’s crime rate. This year’s gun buyback had just over $5,000 to purchase guns.
“This is a great partnership. This is community policing, and that’s what we’re out here doing,” Brock said. “We’re trying to help the communities, and whatever we’ve got to do to do it, that’s what we’re going to do. This is one of many programs we’ve got with the city and the police department.”
Brock said getting guns off the street benefits everyone.
“It is a great program. The church benefits from it, and we, the police department, definitely get benefits out of it,” Brock said. “It makes the people in Selma safe and lets them know that we’re trying to do something.”
Brock said the police department will try to return guns that are stolen to their rightful owners. The other guns will be broken down and sold for their scraps. Brock said the money raised from the gun scraps will go to the next gun buyback.