City says gun buy back purchases will be paid for with 'city funds'
A gun buyback program being offered by the City of Alexandria in an effort to address "the rash of gun-related incidents" in the city will be paid for through the use of "city funds," according to the city's Special Projects Coordinator Jim Smilie. The specific "city fund" that the money will come from was not immediately known, according to Smilie, and would have to be checked with the city's finance director we're told.
The announcement about the program came from Mayor Jeff Hall on Thursday at a community briefing and was expanded on in a press release later that afternoon.
"We want to increase our efforts to address the rash of gun-related incidents we have seen recently in Alexandria,” Mayor Hall said in the release. “Church and civic groups have conducted these buyback programs in the past, and they do make a difference.”
Individuals looking to turn in weapons will receive $50 for a handgun and $100 for rifles and shotguns. The city said no questions would be asked.
“We won’t be taking down license plate numbers or checking IDs, we will just take the weapon and give the donor their cash," said Mayor Hall. "We want to reduce the number of weapons that are out on the street in the hope that it will cut down on the number of gun-related incidents. If the gun isn’t lying around, then someone can’t pick it up in anger or a child won’t find it and cause an accidental shooting. We’re trying to do what we can to prevent a tragedy from happening.”
Guns brought to the buyback should be unloaded and placed in the trunk of the vehicle, the city noted, "During the buyback, participants simply pull into the driveway at the fire station. Law enforcement officials will remove the weapon from the trunk, verify it is in working condition, and then pay for the weapon. The driver never needs to get out of the car, they can just drive through and drop it off."
We also asked Smilie if officials would be checking to see if any of the weapons were stolen. We're told that they will be checked and if a weapon is reported stolen it will be returned to whatever agency was tracking it as stolen.
The gun buyback program is set for Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the old Fire Station No. 2 located at 1105 Broadway Ave.