Winston-Salem Police Hold Gun Turn-In Program After Recent Crimes

Winston-Salem Police Hold Gun Turn-In Program After Recent Crimes

2:17pm Jun 21, 2016
WFDD file photo by Paul Garber. It shows a plastic bin with guns and ammunition acquired during a Winston-Salem police buyback in 2014.

There has been an uptick in the number of homocides during the first six months of 2016 in Winston-Salem. The police department initiated a program called the Firearms Safe Surrender event as part of its effort to address the issue. Already, there have been 14 homicides in the city, compared to five during the same time period last year.

Lieutenant Katie Paterson says violent crime spikes in the summer, so it’s an especially good time to get weapons off the street. She says this event is different than gun buyback programs that the city has held before, where people get paid for their unwanted weapons.  

“In the past, we had some funding to do that, we had a big initiative leading up to it. This time we actually put it together fairly fast," says Paterson. "So we didn’t go through all the measures of getting the money right now – a lot of strings have to be pulled, it takes more planning. We wanted to do something quick to spur some of these numbers that have been increasing.”

Paterson says overall, she’s pleased with the results. The department received four handguns, three shotguns, one black powder gun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. 

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