CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office is trying to change the statistics.
Right now, CDC data shows Clayton has one of the highest gun death rates in the metro. That’s why they’re trying something different, a gun buyback event to reduce the number of weapons.
The idea is simple, give people money in exchange for guns with no questions asked. No name is given. No ID needs to be presented. Depending on the make and model, officers will hand over a gift card.
“What we’re trying to do is get as many guns off the street as we can in Clayton County and also the metropolitan Atlanta area. This is just an opportunity for folks to come and make a little bit of money,” Maj. Stefan Schindler said.
The goal is to get guns out of the hands of criminals and reduce access to weapons.
A recent study from RAND found that there’s widespread public support for the concept. But does it work?
The most successful buybacks bring in a few hundred weapons.
“It’s not going to be in the hundreds,” Schindler said. “Each event, its about 100 guns that we get but that’s a substantial amount of guns that are coming off the streets.”
It’s also a matter of money.
Experts say the street value is anywhere from $200 to $300. Here — they are paying up to $100 for a working weapon.
Still police feel like it’s worth the cost to maybe help save a life.
“The guns are completely destroyed once we take possession of them so they will never make it back to the streets again,” Schindler said.
Schindler said the department is planning to hold a fourth and final gun buyback in November.