Gun buyback nets 41 firearms; more of such outreaches likely

Published: Jan. 15, 2017 at 7:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2017 at 11:43 PM CST
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Forty-one guns were collected to be destroyed during a buyback the morning of Jan. 14 in Caddo...
Forty-one guns were collected to be destroyed during a buyback the morning of Jan. 14 in Caddo Parish. In exchange, participants were given 61 gift cards worth a total of $3,050. (Source: Scott Pace/KSLA News 12)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Miss Caddo's gun buyback event this weekend?

"Because this one went well, I'm sure there will be more," Assistant District Attorney Mekisha Smith Creal said. "They just haven't been scheduled yet."

What set apart the outreach Jan. 14 was how and where it was conducted.

Rather than having to carry firearms into a gun show or other building, participants needed only to put them in the trunks of their vehicles and drive them to Morning Star Baptist Church Life Center, 5340 Jewella Ave.

Once there, pop the trunk and law enforcement officers would unload the guns for you. In exchange, you get a gift card.

It offered for $300 each for assault-style rifle, $100 for each .380-caliber or larger semi-automatic pistol and $50 for each smaller-caliber handgun, revolver, rifle and shotgun.

Among the 41 guns voluntarily surrendered Jan. 14 were brand names including Hawes, Hi-Point, Sig Sauer, Sterling Arms, Winchester, Lorcin, Cobra, Mossburg, Raven, Marlow and Smith & Wesson.

In exchange, 61 gift cards worth a total of $3,050 were given to participants.

The buyback was sponsored by the Caddo Commission and the Caddo sheriff's district attorney's offices.

"This effort aims to get dangerous weapons off the streets and out of the reach of individuals who have not been properly trained to handle firearms," commission President Steven Jackson said.

The sheriff's office routinely accepts and destroys unwanted guns and ammunition from the public and will do the same for the Caddo Commission with the firearms and ammunition it purchases through the buyack program, Sheriff Steve Prator said.

"I have concerns this program will reduce violent crime involving guns," the sheriff said. "But if there is a benefit, it's that an unwanted gun will be kept out of the hands of a child."

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