Oakland County approves $10,000 for December gun buyback event

Oakland County commissioners authorized $10,000 to be used for a voluntary gun buyback event that's set for December.

Citizens will receive $50 for long guns, $100 for handguns, and $200 for assault rifles, the county announced Friday. There is no limit on the number of weapons a participant may return, but they will be limited to $300 in the total amount of money that can be exchanged for the program. The money will be exchanged in the form of Target and Meijer gift cards.

Hosted by the Southfield Police Department and St. David's Episcopal Church on 12 Mile Road, the buyback program will take place on Dec. 9 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

"Most accidental shooting incidents among children involve firearms left loaded and unsecured," Southfield Police Chief Elvin V. Barren said. "According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens. Gun buyback programs provide an incentive to remove unwanted firearms from homes, thereby reducing the probability for these weapons to harm our communities." 

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the appropriate to the Safer Communities Fund, which will support the program.

"We will continue to support local police departments and listen to our community gun safety leaders as they inspire efforts to reduce violence in our communities," said Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township), who helped lead the Board of Commissioners 2022 Anti-Violence Initiative. "We’re happy that they are providing this space for residents to voluntarily turn in their unwanted guns." 

For anyone planning on exchanging their firearms, there are some rules they'll need to follow.

Participants will be asked to provide ID when turning in guns. They'll also be asked to remain in their vehicles while law enforcement remove the weapons from the trunk of the vehicle. They must be unloaded.

In 2022, the county's pilot gun buyback program collected more than 350 total weapons. 

The county also appropriated $25,000 for the fund for next year.