Community leaders joined together with Fulton County sheriff's deputies Thursday for their first-ever gun buyback event at Turner Field.
"There are too many guns on our streets," said Rev. Frank Brown of the Concerned Black Clergy. "Too many guns in the hands of the wrong people."
Brown's organization teamed up with the Atlanta NAACP and leaders of Ebenezer Baptist Church to sponsor the event as part of their commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
"Dr. King, better than anyone else, demonstrated for us the powerful way of peace and nonviolence," said Rev. Raphael Wornack, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Those selling their weapons were given $100 for larger guns such as rifles and $50 for pistols. Deputies planned to destroy all the items they collected.
"I have a little grandson that runs around the house and he's just into everything," said Ruby Johnson," who sold a .38 caliber pistol. "I just want to get rid of it. I've had it too long and I never fired it."
Not far from the event, a number of gun owners stood on the corner and tried to buy people's weapons before they arrived at the buyback.
"Good guns, you don't destroy them," said Andy Crozier, a gun collector. "Just like a good car, you just don't go crush a good car because you don't want it anymore."
Crozier and others said gun buy backs do not get weapons off the streets.
"If the bad guy is using a gun, he's not going to turn it in," said Crozier. "It's as simple as that."
Organizers of the event were hoping to get 1,000 guns off the street but had no tally as of late Thursday.
"Certainly, I believe if we get guns off of our streets and save one life, then it would be a success for us," said Wornack.
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