A local businessman hosted a gun buyback program over the weekend in an effort to reduce violent crimes in Goldsboro.

Such events, aimed at getting weapons off the streets, are more commonly held by local government. But Bobby Harvey, a community advocate and owner of Harvey's Moving Co., decided to financially back the buyback in an effort to make the city a safer place.

"My main goal with doing this event was to get as many guns off the streets as possible, while fostering a relationship with anyone who turns in a gun," Harvey said.

"I'm very pleased with the turnout that we had. We are one step closer to making our community safer."

The event, held Sunday afternoon in the parking lot at 200 W. Ash St., netted four guns. No questions were asked, and Goldsboro police picked up and disposed of the guns, after the event was over. Those who turned in a gun were given either $200 to $300 or a complete paintball set.

During the event there was plenty of ice cold water to drink along with a Southern-style dinner of green beans, corn, barbecue ribs, barbecue chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers, and catered by Brothers Barbeque. For many in the community, the event offered a time of fellowship.

"Many of us remember growing up when Sunday was our biggest meal of the week, which included family time," Harvey said. "I wanted to create that same atmosphere."

For a number of years, Harvey said he wanted to come up with a way to help the community, while helping young people turn their lives around.

After speaking with close friends, he came up with the idea to host the event.

He is interested in having another gun buyback in three months. He also said that one thing he has learned is that most people who have a criminal record believe there is no hope for a better life.

By hosting such an event, he hopes to send a message that anyone who wants to change can turn their life around.