By Bob Allen


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WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Wilkinsburg Police purchased more than 100 weapons from residents within two hours during its annual gun buyback program Saturday.

The department paid out almost $4,000 in Giant Eagle gift certificates, offering $50 for handguns and $25 for rifles.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

In fact, the response was so overwhelming, the department ran out of gift certificates and had to tell residents to bring their guns back on Monday.

Some residents said they didn’t want grandchildren to find the weapons in their homes; others just wanted to be sure the guns didn’t end up on the streets.

Police Chief Ophelia “Cookie” Coleman says one less gun on the street is one less incident where someone can get hurt.

The borough took the guns from residents with no questions asked, but there was one incident during the event.

The department is filing charges against a man who was outside trying to get people to sell him their guns instead.

“The person who was out there stated that he was a state constable. Well, you would expect someone with a record to be doing something like that, but never a person that’s supposed to be involved with law enforcement,” Coleman said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

The buyback program won’t stop some from owning weapons illegally, but it is part of the effort to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands.