img_4757.jpg

Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. examines a shotgun brought in at a gun buy-back event on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in the village. | Matthew Hendrickson for the Sun-Times

‘I just wanted them out,’ 29 guns collected at buyback in Dolton

SHARE ‘I just wanted them out,’ 29 guns collected at buyback in Dolton
SHARE ‘I just wanted them out,’ 29 guns collected at buyback in Dolton

Ike Singleton lives in Joliet, but on Saturday he made the 30-mile trek to south suburban Dolton with two shotguns. He left with $200.

“It wasn’t really for the money, I just wanted them out,” Singleton said.

The 68-year-old was tired of seeing the shotguns sitting in his room at home, and was worried his grandchildren might get ahold of them. They belonged to his father, and maybe his grandfather before that.

“My father used to hunt with them,” Singleton said in a sparse room at the Dolton Municipal Office, 14014 Park Ave., where police organized a gun buy-back program from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Singleton, who said he loves animals, has no interest in hunting, and no interest in owning the guns.

“They used to make me skin them,” he recalled of the game meat his father would bring home. “I never ate it.”

Dolton Police Sgt. Preston Allbritton takes possession of a rifle at a buy-buy on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Dolton. | Matthew Hendrickson for the Sun-Times

Dolton Police Sgt. Preston Allbritton takes possession of a rifle at a buy-buy on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Dolton. | Matthew Hendrickson for the Sun-Times

Saturday’s buyback collected 29 guns, according to Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. They included rifles, shotguns and handguns — even a single-shot derringer. Each gun turned in got its previous owner a MasterCard with $100 on it.

Collins said most people use the gun buyback program for the same reasons as Singleton.

“It’s your typical homeowner-type,” Collins said. “Gangbangers don’t bring guns in.”

The program helps to get guns off the street by taking them before they can be misplaced, or stolen, Collins said. Guns hidden beneath mattresses or in a shoebox can be found by children and are sought-after in burglaries.

When a gun is brought in — unloaded and preferably bagged — police take their serial numbers, check them against open cases and put them in storage, Collins said. Eventually, they will be taken to a foundry and melted down.

Most of the guns brought in on Saturday were old and showed wear. But one, a shotgun that had never been fired, looked like it just came out of a box.

“The owner said he bought it and just never used it,” Collins said.

Handguns collected at a gun buyback event on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Dolton. | Matthew Hendrickson for the Sun-Times

Handguns collected at a gun buyback event on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Dolton. | Matthew Hendrickson for the Sun-Times


The Latest
One step would be to adjust the deadline in the city’s heating ordinance to a date earlier than June 1.
Zoning Committee Chairman Tom Tunney (44th), who doubles as the casino committee chairman, said he is not at all certain that the votes are there to approve the companion agreements. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. I don’t know if we can get it done by Friday. But that’s their goal...We might need more time. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
The shooting happened at the Warwick Allerton Hotel, officials said.
Democrats across the nation are hoping to use the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that could signal the overturning of Roe v. Wade to bring voters to the polls. That’s a trickier strategy for Valencia in the secretary of state’s race.
We need more alternative activities for these young people, summer jobs, outreach workers downtown to engage with youth and more.