This story was updated at 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2022, to include comments from Chief Victor Brito
More than 300 firearms were collected at a gun buyback event in Rockville on Saturday, according to Rockville police.
Rockville police, in conjunction with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County Public Schools, held the event over the weekend in an effort to reduce the number of guns on county streets. Those who turned in working handguns, rifles and shotguns received $100 Visa gift cards and those who turned in assault-style and privately made firearms (ghost guns) received $200 Visa gift cards.
The police department posted on social media over the weekend that more than 300 guns were collected during the event. About two dozen ghost guns and a half dozen assault rifles were collected, according to department spokeswoman Andrea Escher.
Escher said about $30,000 in gift card money was distributed to people who turned in guns. Those turning in guns were not required to be Montgomery County residents, and no questions were to be asked when they turned in the guns.
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy told Bethesda Beat previously that he hopes similar events are held in other parts of the county.
Rockville Police Chief Victor Brito told Bethesda Beat on Monday that the lines for the buyback event were overwhelming.
“I think that we have a very engaged community. I think they felt this was a great thing to do to ensure a safe community,” he said.
Brito said it’s possible the department might hold a similar event, but if so they will need a larger venue.
Brito said officers who worked at Saturday’s event received positive feedback from those who turned in guns.
“They were very thankful [because] they didn’t want the guns getting into the wrong hands of people,” he said.
Dan Schere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org