The Atlanta Police Department will pay cash for guns at a Saturday, Oct. 15, buyback event intended to keep weapons off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.
APD will pay $50 for handguns and $100 for long guns at the “Gun Buyback” event to be held in the Atlanta Civic Center parking lot at 395 Piedmont Road SE. APD will not run any vehicle tags or collect personal information from anyone who sells a firearm, police said.
The guns must be real and can be missing small parts. Police will not accept a single part of a gun, such as a barrel or hand grip.
No walkups will be allowed. Those wanting to sell guns will have to remain in their car, according to the APD.
Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at an Oct. 13 press conference that officers have investigated about 26 accidental shootings this year and that five of those involved children. The department has also seen an increase in domestic violence shootings since July, he said.
Removing weapons from places where heated arguments can happen resulting in potential tragic shootings is one of the reasons the city is doing a gun buyback program, he added.
“We cannot be in every home. We cannot be on every playground where disputes may arise and certainly around domestic violence situations,” Schierbaum said. “We see this [buyback] as an effort to be able to prevent other acts of gun violence that we can’t impact traditionally and this is certainly around where children may be present.”
Mayor Andre Dickens decried gun violence on Atlanta’s streets at an August City Council public safety committee meeting following a deadly shooting at a park that killed two people and wounded others, including a 6-year-old girl.
Atlanta Police Interim Chief Darin Schierbaum told Midtown Alliance members in August that Zone 5, which includes Midtown, continues to see the highest rate of guns being stolen from cars. He said gang members often seek to steal guns from cars.
APD is also tracking aggravated assaults that specifically involve gun violence. A presentation to the City Council’s public safety committee this week showed that through Oct. 1, aggravated assaults involving a person shot are trending down across the city.