Atlanta Police Department offers cash for guns at buyback event

To get guns off the street, the Atlanta Police Department hosted a gun buyback program Saturday that led to 302 weapons being collected.

"What you're seeing is Atlanta at work for the safety of its own city," said Interim Chief Darin Schierbaum.

The police department was offering $50 for any handguns and $100 for long guns and rifles. 

They bought 160 hand guns and 142 long guns.

Flyer of an Atlanta Police Department gun buyback event.

Flyer of an Atlanta Police Department gun buyback event. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

During the event, officers could not run tags or collect personal information of anyone selling a gun.

"We are here to try and reduce the violence in our community but also to reduce the accidental deaths that we have had," said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

Dickens said keeping the streets of Atlanta safe has been crucial to him.

"In Atlanta alone this year, we've had 26 people with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Five of those were children," he said. "So, this is a way for people to turn in guns they don't want in their home and to keep their children safe."

The very first car in line belonged to a resident named Vera Green.

"I saw the buyback on the news and I thought I have handguns I found in my momma's house when I was helping her move. I found three guns and I said these need to go," said Green.

She was just one of 152 drivers there to do their part in curbing violence.

"It was a good experience and necessary to do," she said. "I don't like violence at all. I like protection, but I don't like violence. Three guns is overkill, so I said I would just be part of this and just get rid of them."

This was the first event like this that the Atlanta police have held in years. Chief Schierbaum said he knows there's more work to be done.

"So far this year, APD has recovered over 1,900 guns--Guns in the hands of felons, guns in the hands of those who shouldn't have possessed them. These citizens today are removing guns from environments in which we have no access to."