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Police & Church Team Up To Hold Gun Buyback Program

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fed up with the crime. After more than 140 murders this year, Baltimore communities band together to fight back—and they’re already seeing a difference.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the battle against violence.

Tuesday night, dozens of guns are off the streets as communities and churches step up to stop violence.

Bloodied clothes in the street, crime tape and police. Another shooting is an all-too-familiar sight.

“Our youth are dying every single day. Our children are getting no love from their communities, no rec centers, so there’s nothing for them to do,” said concerned resident Don Trunk.

Communities in crisis are now coming together.

“I don’t want to sit on my porch and see dope dealers. We can make it happen,” said Mondawmin community leader Sandra Almon-Cooper.

Faith leaders say it’s time for churches to take action.

“Without the church, there is no community. Without the community, there is no church,” said Rev. Franklin Lance, Mount Lebanon Baptist Church.

“The church has to stand up and do something. We have to be on the front line,” said Christopher Brown, Empowerment Temple.

Tuesday night, dozens showed up at the Empowerment Temple for one of the city’s largest gun buybacks. Weapons ranging from handguns to sawed-off shotguns were taken off the streets. More than 50 guns were collected in the first hour.

“We want those high-powered rifles. We want those assault guns. We want those guns off the streets to save lives,” Brown said.

At a National Night Out event, the governor admits the city’s taken some steps in the wrong direction and that police and leaders must do more.

“There’s nothing more important than the police department putting forth the effort that allows neighbors to rally together and feel like they’re not in this alone,” Governor Martin O’Malley said.

Community leaders say for the first time in a long time, they’re seeing an increase in the people joining block watches because so many are outraged at the violence this summer.

Officials with the Empowerment Temple say they are already planning another gun buyback program.

More from Meghan McCorkell
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