After a rash of crime in and around the city of Selma, a Gun Buy Back program was created to help reduce crime. Police say the program ended almost as soon as it started due to a lack of funds, but they say they were able to remove a significant amount of weapons off the street.
Selma Police are calling Macedonia Apostolic Church's Gun Buy Back program a success. Thirty-seven guns are now off the street helping deter crime in Selma.
The concept is simple: turn in a gun no questions asked and walk away with some extra cash.
The Gun Buy Back program put on by the Macedonia Apostolic Church sparked much interest for Selma residents. In fact, the line started two hours before the event kicked off, and the funds ran out within minutes.
"There were so many people when we got here, you know. We thought they would be here for a while, but you know 20 minutes. There's a lot more people disappointed than we are," says resident Joe Bob.
Thirty-seven guns were collected this morning. Organizer Robert Pettus Says that's 37 weapons that criminals will never lay a hand on.
"One gun. One gun off the streets makes a difference," says Pettus.
Lately, safety has been a concern for many Selma residents, after a rash of crime has hit the area.
While Police Chief William Riley Says the arrest of suspects like Deandre Lee, who he says shot and killed nine-year-old twins Taylor and Jordan Dejerinette and their baby sitter Jack Girdner, helps, it won't solve the real issue.
"We operate on the premise. Just one can make a difference," says Riley. "It has to start somewhere. We did about 35 today. Last year, we did 57. It's ongoing."
And for those residents that didn't get a chance to trade in their gun, they say they'll be back next year, but earlier.
At any point in time, you can donate the buy back program fund.
If you would like to help out, you can call the church at (334) 875-5338.
Chief Riley says the guns will first go through A.T.F. to see if any were registered as stolen or used in a crime, and then the guns will be destroyed.