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Guns For Gift Cards Exchange Enters Its Fifth Year

Credit: KPBS

Above: Organizers at the 2011 guns for gift cards exchange collect guns from San Diegans.

Community leaders in Southeast San Diego are hoping free gift cards will entice people to turn in their guns. The guns for gift cards exchange takes place tomorrow.

— The guns for gift cards exchange takes place tomorrow. This is the event’s fifth year.

Organizers said they take in an average of 200 guns each year.

San Diego Sheriff’s Department Commander Mike Barletta said people come from throughout the county to drop off their guns, no questions asked, in exchange for gift cards. Barletta said the program solves a common problem.

"Frequently people have guns in their homes that they no longer want to have or feel the need to have," he said. "And they’re looking for a way to get rid of those, not realizing that law enforcement would be happy to accept them and have those destroyed."

This year, participants can get either $50 or $100 gift cards, depending on the type of gun they turn in. Barletta said cards are purchased with money the Sheriff’s Department has recovered during drug seizures.

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