ROCKVILLE, Md. — Rockville Police will be hosting a county-wide gun buyback program in hopes of helping to create a safer community, just in time for school to go back in session.
Police Chief of the Rockville City Police Department, Victor Brito, announced the program on Wednesday. The chief emphasized that all firearms will be accepted. They intend to give out $100 Visa gift cards for functioning rifles, shotguns and handguns, while functioning assault-style weapons and privately-manufactured weapons, also known as ghost guns, will garner $200 in Visa gift cards.
The event will take place on Saturday, Aug.27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the police department; 2 West Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, Maryland, 20850. The weapons must be unloaded and in the trunk or back of the car. No walk-ups will be accepted.
In addition, no one turning in a firearm will need any form of identification and no questions will be asked by law enforcement, the chief stressed.
"It's very important for us that every gun turned in is one less gun that can be used in a serious crime, suicide, domestic violence incident or accidentally discharged by a child," Brito said. "Keeping guns off the street and out of the hands of our youth is our highest priority."
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said at the press conference announcing the program that the event is just a small part of their larger effort to make the community safer - especially the schools.
"We know what happens in our community flows into our schools . . .we must always remember that," Superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools Dr. Monifa B. McKnight said.
McCarthy shared that from 2021 to 2022, gun seizures were up by 180. So far in 2022 - as of Aug. 14 - police seized 790 guns throughout the county.
He also emphasized that the day for the program is not a coincidence; it was strategically scheduled, just in time for the first day of school in the county. He said the event is a part of their larger agenda to educate the community and school children so that everyone knows the law, and the obligations and dangers guns can bring.
McCarthy encouraged other businesses or individuals to call the office and donate if they're looking to help reduce guns in the community and want to see more buyback programs, as they are costly to put on.
Find more information on how to contact McCarthy's office by clicking here.