Renee Taylor decided to turn over her husband’s old service weapon at the ‘Gift Cards for Guns’ event held in Forest Heights, MD on Saturday.
“It brings back so many memories, you know?” she said.
She met William Taylor at the police station and they got married there 37 years ago. He passed away eight years ago from cancer and she brought his weapon to the buyback event, saying it was time to let go.
“I held on to it long enough,” said Renee, though she did keep the safety box.
Other participants in the program had different reasons for attending.
“I fired it at a ground hole a couple days ago – it jammed,” said one event goer.
And Walter Hagler brought in a shotgun he found at an old home he was remodeling.
“They’re robbing old people, banks, stores, people are getting killed. It’s terrible.” Hagler said. “That’s why I brought that here today.”
Major Ray Gordon of the Prince George’s County Police Department showed ABC 7 an intimidating gun.
“This here is a tech nine,” he said. “It’s things like these we don’t want out in the streets. Once you fire that gun, lives are shattered. You can’t take that back.”
By the time the event was halfway through, 50 weapons had been collected. The event averages about 100 guns each time it is held.
There are no questions asked and residents walk away with a $100 gift card. Once the weapons are collected, they are checked to confirm that they are not stolen. If not, then they are melted down.