Dozens of Guns Purchased at First Baptist’s 3rd Annual Gun Buyback Event

WASHINGTON INFORMER: The First Baptist Church of Glenarden partnered with the Prince George’s County Police Department and Zion Church to host their third annual gun buyback Saturday at the Watkins Park Drive site. 

“The church must play an active role to work with our local government to help to keep our communities safe,” said John K. Jenkins Sr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.

Gun buyback programs allow residents to turn in weapons and receive cash or other incentives. Programs like this aim to reduce the proliferation of weapons on the street. Participants receive a gift card with amounts that are based on the type of gun to be bought. Shotguns and rifles can be traded-in for $75, handguns for $125, and automatic or semi-automatic firearms for $175. In addition to a gift card, individuals are offered anonymity. 

Sergeant Rodney Gause of the Prince George’s County Police Department said he has participated in the gun buyback for the past three years. “You have so many families that inherit guns and things of that nature, and they don’t necessarily want them lying around,” Gause said. 

“Unfortunately, if someone breaks in, they can steal those guns that are really not used and permitted in the home. So, it’s good we can partner with First Baptist of Glenarden and Zion Ministries to give this opportunity to folks who want to get rid of guns that they really don’t want so they don’t ultimately end up on the streets.” 

When asked what happens to the weapons turned in, he said, “We keep a record of them. Then we process them in our warehouse, and they are ultimately taken away to be destroyed.”

On Saturday, a total of 131 guns were bought – 40 shotguns or rifles, 40 handguns, and 51  automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Officials said they could not determine how many of them were ghost guns.

Jessica Hale, the Communications and Marketing Manager at First Baptist Church of Glenarden, helped to organize the event and spread the word to community partners. Another gun buyback program may be held again next year.

Photo: Guns collected at First Baptist Church of Glenarden on Nov. 18 (Courtesy of FBCOG Photo Ministry)

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