Note: This article contains mentions of gun violence and suicide.
The ever-present debate over gun ownership took a turn in Durham County this week.
County officials are working to make the city safer while retaining individual rights. The county will be buying back unused firearms — no questions asked — as part of local efforts to reduce gun violence. This approach preserves autonomy for gun owners — and it's something Orange County can learn from.
On April 10, buybacks were held in two locations across Durham for residents to turn in their old, unwanted and unloaded guns in exchange for Visa gift cards. The county offered $100 for shotguns, $150 per handgun and $200 per assault rifle.
Durham County Sheriff's Office emphasizes that there will be no questions asked of those who turn in their guns, and requires no proof of identification for the individuals who participated in the buyback.
There have been 180 more shootings this year than there were last year, according to Durham Police reports. Chapel Hill isn't immune to the threat posed by firearms.