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Police Expect To Collect A Few Hundred Guns At Annual Buyback Event In San Diego

Guns sit on a table after being turned in to San Diego police at a gun buybac...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: Guns sit on a table after being turned in to San Diego police at a gun buyback event on December 21, 2012 at the United African American Ministerial Action Council in San Diego.

San Diegans can trade in unwanted guns for gift cards or skateboards from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The event is being held at Encanto Southern Baptist Church.

The annual buyback program is put on by the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, the United African American Ministerial Council and San Diego Training Center.

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Assault weapons can be traded in for $200 gift cards while handguns and other shoulder-fired guns can get a $100 gift card. There is also the option of trading in guns for skateboards.

“Participating in this program could very well save someone’s life by preventing guns getting into the wrong hands — or a child’s hands," San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said in a news release.

People attending the buyback program are asked to make sure guns are brought unloaded and left in the trunk of a car. The district attorney’s office said each year around 300 firearms are collected from the event.

"Gun buyback programs are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting the public from gun violence," San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said. "Turning in unwanted guns means guns are off the streets, won’t be stolen, and can’t be used to commit a crime or hurt someone.”

The buyback program was started more than a decade ago after two teenagers were killed. All weapons collected will be destroyed.

Assault weapons can be traded in for a $200 gift card while all other guns can be swapped for a $100 gift card or a skateboard.

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