Oakland County gun buy-back event a success, incentive gift cards gone after first hour

‘We just wanted to get the gun out of our house’

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Oakland County hosted its first gun buy-back event in Royal Oak on Saturday, attendance was so high the police department ran out of gift cards that were offered as an incentive.

The gun buy-back event at the Royal Oak Police Department was supposed to be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, but attendance was so high, the department gave away all of their gift cards in 52 minutes.

“We had people here as early as 5 a.m.,” said Deputy Chief Patrick Stanton

Stanton tells Local 4, the gun buy-back is actually a simple process, “the way it works is people come in line, they provide their identification just for logging purposes, they advise us what they have, we’ll collect the weapons and make sure that they’re safe, and then we will, in turn, provide them with gift cards for the corresponding weapon that they turned.”

Royal Oak Police Department partnered with Berkley Police Department to host the event and after just 52 minutes, the gift cards were gone. “Each department was issued $7,500 through the program, so combining with Berkley, roughly $15,000,” said Stanton.

Although the department ran out of gift cards, it didn’t stop people from wanting to get rid of their guns.

Seven law enforcement agencies in Oakland County participated in the event. Cindy Litwinowicz told Local 4 that she first went to the Southfield buy-back and waited in line for 45 minutes.

“We found out that, that was all gone over there. So we came over here, I called the police to find out if they’re still accepting guns even without the gift certificates and they said yes, so we just wanted to get the gun out of our house,” said Litwinowicz.

Deputy Chief Stanton calls the event a success, “based on this event I think there’ll be a lot of feedback as we talk as a group to how today went. We’ll probably look forward to doing another one down the road.”

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.