WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cleaning up the neighborhood. That's the goal of the "Joshua Proutey Demetrius Greene Gun Buyback Program."
Organizers along with New Hanover County Sheriff, Ed McMahon, Wilmington Police Department Chief, Ralph Evangelous and District Attorney Ben David have signed off on this program that promises cash in exchange for guns, adding there will be no questions asked during the drop off.
The umbrella organization for this new program is the nonprofit "LINC," Leading Into New Communities. the city does not fund the gun buyback program, it only works through community involvement, business partnerships and volunteer donations.
The ultimate incentive of the program is to create a living space with less violence, but in the meantime $100 for a pistol or handgun and $200 for an assault weapon will be offered in the form of cash or a VISA cash card.
"To turn in a gun-- maybe you've found yourself in a situation where you have a gun you got from someone else, or maybe you're a parent and you notice your child has a gun and you don't want them to have it and you don't know where to take it—all you do is transport the gun in the trunk of your car to one of the several drop off locations (which will be announced at a later date) August 24," said Patrick Holmes, the program's main organizer.
Holmes added that those who turn in guns, again, will not be questioned and no investigations will be done on the person turning in the gun. Also, no pictures or prints will be taken, either.
To get rid of the guns, however, law enforcement will work to find the original owner of the gun to get it back to them. They will also see if the gun was ever used in a previous crime.
"The program gets the gun out of these kids' hands. They might not know that the gun they have could be connected to ten other crimes or it might have been used in a murder at some point. You don't know where the gun has been and if it's in your hands, the burden is now on you," said Holmes.
Before rolling out the new program, Patrick Holmes and Frankie Roberts, the executive director of the non-profit organization ‘LINC' decided to pick a name that honors the memories of young people who were victims of random acts of violence.
Joshua Proutey, 19, was shot in the head December 2012 while heading to his car after working an event at the Community Arts Center on Second and Orange Streets.
Demetrius Greene, 8, was shot and killed Feb 16, 1996. He was sitting in his mother's car when gunfire broke out in the 900- block of South 10th street. He was caught in crossfire involving Shan Carter and Kwada Temoney. Carter was sentenced to death and Temoney is serving a life sentence.
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