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Baltimore Church Collected 26 Guns In Gun Buyback

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) ―Baltimore City police are searching for suspects in a deadly shooting. It happened just steps away from a church that’s trying to get guns off the streets.

Adam May
has more.

A triple shooting on the west side of Baltimore on Friday night, leaves a 29-year-old male dead and two others injured. Just two blocks away, Saint Gregory The Great Church fights to make the streets safe with a gun buy back program.

“We’re deeply concerned about the violence, and we’re all called to [be] peace makers,” said Monsignor Damien Nalepa, pastor of Saint Gregory.” Everybody has to take responsibility because the violence affects every one.”

The church pays between $50 and $100 for each weapon.

“I bought it from a guy a long time,” said Jerald Reese, who turned in a gun. “I would never use a gun.”

Reese was looking for this kind of opportunity.

“It makes me feel good,” Reese said. “I don’t need to worry about having a gun in my house no more. It’s gone. I feel real good.”

Some question the effectiveness of these programs, but church leaders have seen see many real life examples, collecting close to 200 guns in the last two years.

“The last time we did this, we had a woman who had 12 guns in her house, six were loaded, and she had several small children, so removing those guns really does make a difference,” Nalepa said.

Velvetta Thomas has a similar motivation.

“If somebody breaks in, it might get in the hands of the wrong person,” Thomas said.

The church took in another 26 guns on Saturday. As for the nearby shooting, police have not identified suspects or a motive.

Saint Wenceslaus Church also held a gun buyback. Both buybacks were sponsored by The Catholic Review newspaper.

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