MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A program aimed at getting guns off the streets of Myrtle Beach is being considered a success by organizers after bringing in over 140 guns. On Saturday, individuals could bring guns of any kind to the Sandy Grove Missionary Baptist Church in return for a $100 CostCo gift card.
"We opened up at 11:00," said Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall, "We had over twenty-five handguns turned in by 11:05." Within two hours, over one hundred guns had been dropped off and the Police Department had run out of gift cards.
Officials with the Buyback say the high volume of people dropping weapons off speaks to the safety-conscious community in Myrtle Beach.
- 138 handguns collected
- 1 shotgun collected
- 1 assault rifle collected
"It was the right thing to do," said Larry Hunt, who dropped off two handguns. "We need to get those types of guns off the streets, the ones that aren't registered."
While police were taking care of the weapons that were dropped off on one side of the church, on the other side, hundreds of folks were out to support the police and community groups against street crime.
"We're here to save our neighborhood and let our kids know that there's something better out there than taking each other's lives," said Kendra Keel of Mothers Against Violence.
Members of several community groups say the Gun Buyback is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to community events to prevent street crime, and have plans for other projects, like a community garden, in the works.