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College Park gun buy-back nets 172 weapons
by Bill Baldowski
February 12, 2013 11:09 AM | 1555 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Bill Baldowski <br>
From left, Melvin Morris with Litehouse Partners Inc. and College Park Police Chief Ron Fears check out one of the 172 handguns, rifles and assault weapons turned in as part of the College Park gun buy-back program last week.
Staff / Bill Baldowski
From left, Melvin Morris with Litehouse Partners Inc. and College Park Police Chief Ron Fears check out one of the 172 handguns, rifles and assault weapons turned in as part of the College Park gun buy-back program last week.
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College Park City Councilman Joe Carn had a hard time taking his eyes off the three tables filled with shotguns, pistols and other firearms spread out before him in the College Park City Auditorium.

In less than six hours last Saturday, College Park residents turned in, for cash reimbursement by the city, more than 172 weapons as part of College Park’s first gun buy-back program.

However, this firearms arsenal would have surely almost doubled if the $20,000 the city had allotted for the program had not been completely depleted within hours of the official opening of the buy-back program.

However, another result of the program almost assured that a second gun buy-back program will be held, once funding is secured and in place.

“We ran out of funding for this program and had to close it down,” Carn said.

“However, we still had more than a hundred people still waiting in line to turn in their guns,” he added.

Surrounded by elected officials and members of the College Park community during a news conference following the close of the gun buy-back program, Carn said he was grateful for the response.

“This is an indication that College Park residents want gun-related violence and crime to stop in College Park,” he said.

“These guns are now out of our neighborhoods and possibly off our streets and won’t be able to become weapons of violence, and we are grateful for the reaction to this program by our residents.”

Although a number of area senators and representatives spoke at the news conference, Rev. Cornelius Brown, president of the Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta, spoke to loud applause and shouts of “amen” coming from those around him.

“The importance of preventing another mass shooting is something I believe we can all agree on,” Brown said. “What took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. as well as Price Middle School and our own beloved Morehouse College in Atlanta has aroused our moral anger from apathy to action.”

Brown added that because of these violent acts, “cracking down on gun violence has taken center stage in our lives.”

“As the moral compass of our community, we implore those who bear arms to experience a paradigm shift in your thinking to being your brother’s keeper, not your brother’s killer.”

Concluding his remarks, Carn thanked Mayor Jack Longino and the other members of the council for their support of the gun buyback program.

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