The Atlanta branch the NAACP announced they are starting a program to buy back guns on Monday.
Officials with the group say Project Rescue Atlanta is a community based program designed to get guns off the streets of Atlanta, and they are inviting other organizations to join the program.
Atlanta NAACP president Dr. R.L. White was surrounded by members of law enforcement, including Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson, when he made the announcement.
White says the program is about raising awareness in the community on the issue of gun violence, but they also want to get guns out of the wrong hands. He pointed to the tragic mass shooting in at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans on Sunday as a reason for the community to do something about it.
"But it helps us because if we can do something to prevent violence, it makes it safer not only for the citizens, but also for our officers, and plus it might reduce the population of the jail with violent offenders," said Jackson.
White referenced College Park's gun buyback in February, where some of the guns purchased were old or inoperable. He says the goal is to recover firearms that are a real threat to the community.
"We don't want people getting guns out of the closet they had in there 50 years and just selling it to get some money. That's not what we're trying to do," White said.
White says gun violence has dominated the newscasts and headlines in metro Atlanta for far too long.
Sheriff Jackson says you need only look at the population of the county jail to know where the problem lies.
"In our jail, we have about 2,400 inmates. 92 percent are in for violent offenses. If we can do, like Dr. White said, if we can get one gun off the street it might save somebody's life or at least a crime," Jackson said.
The NAACP has not announced when its gun buyback program would begin, or how much they will pay for each firearm turned in. The civil rights organization says it will announce those details once other groups join forces with them.
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