New details released in Montgomery gun reward initiative program

Updated: May. 24, 2017 at 1:36 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery city and county leaders released more details Thursday about a gun reward initiative program aimed at taking illegal guns out of the hands of teens.

Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey says the program will pay $300 to any individual whose tip helps take an illegal firearm out of a teenager's possession. The reward for the tip will not be handed out unless the tip leads to the gun being taken from the teen.

The idea for this program came from an ATF pilot program already in place in Montgomery Public Schools. Bailey says the program is being funded in part by the Central Alabama Community Foundation.

To further show the need to have this program Bailey began the news conference by showing a graphic video of a shooting that happened in Montgomery during  April 2010. During the shooting, two juveniles armed with guns went into a gas station and robbed a clerk before shooting an innocent customer, "who was doing as he was told, lying flat on the floor not moving" Bailey explained.

Prior to the robbery and shooting, at least three other juveniles who knew the offenders saw them that same day with the guns, Bailey said.

"If this program had been in place on the day that incident took place, that incident could have been prevented," Bailey said. "That is what we are trying to prevent. I do not want to see, nor do any of these leaders standing behind me want to see, another child injured by another child using a firearm. We do not want to see any more of our teenagers, any more of our children, being killed or injured by guns."

The parents of Bellingrath Middle School student Jaquerria Timmons, who was shot and killed by another young student, also spoke during the news conference thanking leaders for taking this initiative.

Along with Bailey, Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, Mayor Todd Strange and Commission Chairman Elton Dean spoke about the importance of this program to the community.

CrimeStoppers will be the facilitator for the reward program. Anyone with information of a juvenile in the possession of an illegal gun can call 215-STOP to leave a tip. Also on social media, tipsters can leave a message on the Montgomery County DA Facebook Page or Instagram account: Montgomery_DA_DarylBailey.

Also, the gun buyback program previously announced by the city earlier this week is no longer taking place. Strange says a law enacted by the legislature in 2013 prevents law enforcement entities from buying illegal guns from the community. Strange says the city is looking into other ways the buyback can be done.

You can watch the full news conference below:

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