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      Businesses and law enforcement unite for gun buyback initiative

      A community coalition has organized to help fight the circulation of unlawful weapons and violence in Horry County's neighborhoods by hosting a second annual gun buyback initiative and community peace rally.

      This group of community stakeholders and various agencies will host the Stop the Violence Peace Festival & Countywide Community Safety Rally on Saturday, April 27th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 1111 Grainger Rd in Conway.

      The coalition consists of supporting agencies, businesses, colleges and schools including Coastal Carolina University, Horry Georgetown Technical College, Horry County School District, all law enforcement agencies serving Horry County and the SC Highway Patrol.

      Other partnering organizations include the Department of Juvenile Justice, CAPS, Waccamaw EOC and the Housing Authority of Conway.

      The entire event is open to the public and will feature a resource and education expo for the community which will include gun safety demonstrations, public health and safety guest speakers, music, free food and exhibits from supporting agencies.

      Two gun buyback locations have been established for the rally - one will be at A Father's Place on Hwy. 378 in Conway with a second location behind the gymnasium at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

      The gun buyback program is an anonymous, no questions asked program that is designed to remove unlawful and unwanted weapons from the streets and homes.

      Persons who are willing to turn in firearms can do so at either drop off location on the day of the event and receive up to $300 in gift card payback for their weapons.

      These locations provide a drive up service.

      For more information about this Stop the Violence Peace Rally, please contact: Robert Kegler of the Horry County Police Department at (843) 915-8085, Catina Hipp of the City of Conway Police Department at (843) 488-7646 or April Garner of Horry Georgetown Technical College at (843) 349-7870.