New Albany to buy back unwanted guns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Albany to buy back unwanted guns

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- In the wake of the massacre of dozens at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, the city of New Albany has come up with a way for residents to get rid of unwanted guns.

In exchange for guns, the city is handing out cold, hard cash. Starting at noon on Dec. 28, New Albany police will buy your gun, no questions asked.

The New Albany Police Department property room contains a number of guns confiscated over the years. On Friday, police hope to add hundreds more after the city's first-ever gun buyback.

"It is an effort on the city's part to try to make New Albany a safer place, not just on the streets but even in people's homes," said Maj. Keith Whitlow of the New Albany Police Department.

The city will pay $200 for pistols, shotguns and rifles and $300 for so-called assault weapons.

The idea for the gun buyback was born before Newtown. But the school shooting gave the program a higher priority, and recently city officials approved $50,000 in funding.

"It's not that it's a gun grab or anything like that," said Whitlow. "But if anybody has a gun that they don't really want, then that's a potential hazard to somebody else."

Sellers must provide proof that they live in the city of New Albany, and the gun must be modern and operational. There is no limit on the number of guns an individual can turn in. And -- no questions asked.

"They won't be asked where they obtained the firearms," said Whitlow. "The weapons won't be checked to see if they're stolen at the site."

At Quills Coffee shop in downtown New Albany, reaction was generally positive.

"If somebody wants to sell their gun, why not sell it to the city?" asked Kate Frakes.

"I think anytime there's steps taken to get guns off the street that may or may not have been involved in some sort of crime, it's a good step," commented Chris Thomas.

"I can see this being beneficial in the case of people who have guns that are not licensed to them or stolen guns, or things of that nature," said Jonna Frakes.

The buyback starts at noon at the Ekin Avenue Recreation Center. It runs until 8 p.m.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with gun control. It has everything to do with safety," said Whitlow.

Police are also asking that the guns be unloaded and transported safely to the buyback location, preferably inside a vehicle.

Ultimately, any guns not needed for evidence in a crime will be destroyed.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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