BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore is holding its second gun buyback Wednesday, as it nears its way toward 300 homicides for the fourth straight year.
A spike in gun violence has Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh demanding change to turn the City around.
“I said put down the guns, this is unconscionable, this is not what we want for Baltimore, when we have all these positive things going on, it makes it very difficult to elevate the conversation around,” Pugh said.
This comes as shootings surged this past week, including a 25-year-old man murdered in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon in West Baltimore.
On Tuesday afternoon, five men were shot near the corner of Park Heights and Shirley Avenue.
“What we are hoping is that someone in the community either saw something, heard something and they will come forward,” said Jeremy Silbert, with Baltimore City Police. “In addition to talking to people, our detectives will also check to see if any of the cameras in the area, whether they picked up the entire incident or any portion that could help detectives,”
The victims, men 18 to 63, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Over the weekend, a store owner was killed and a teacher was held at gunpoint.
Until 8 p.m. Wednesday night, at the McElderry Park Community Center, anyone can anonymously turn in a legal or illegal gun. In exchange, they will receive between $25 and $500. The weapons need to be unloaded and transactions are anonymous.
“Throughout the day on Monday and we’ve seen the same thing happen through the first 30 minutes today, it’s a wide variety of people bringing in handguns and rifles which are guns off the street,” Silbert said.
The first day of the program had close to 600 guns purchased from the public, on Wednesday police expected a similar turnout.
Steve Bonning brought several guns for Baltimore to buy back, but does not believe this program will stop the violence.
“Criminals don’t get their guns from legitimate sources,” Bonning said. “They get guns through back channels and that’s not going to change anytime soon,”
But for Baltimore police and city leaders, getting any guns off the street is a success toward heading in the right direction.
“As someone said, you may get Grandpa’s gun, so grandsons or sons don’t get them it doesn’t matter to get those many off the streets of our city is great,” Pugh said.
There will also be another chance Friday at the Perkins Square Baptist Church.