As California’s average price of gasoline soared beyond $6 per gallon last week, Sacramento Police offered people a way to save at the pump: turn in their guns.
More than 100 people turned in a total of 134 guns for $50 gas gift cards on Saturday, the Sacramento Police Department announced in a news release.
People dropped off their firearms at department headquarters from noon to 4 p.m. as part of an organized event. No ID was required and no ammunition was accepted. Each gun had to be fully functional.
At least one assault weapon was dropped off, as were several guns with illegally manufactured parts, according to the release. Police ran out of gift cards just 45 minutes into the event, but continued accepting guns until 4 p.m., they announced on Facebook.
Participants most commonly cited a lack of experience or knowledge with firearms, lack of knowledge about their legality or being unable to safely store them as the main reasons for giving up their guns.
“As a department we will continue to use innovative ideas to increase the safety of our community,” Police Chief Kathy Lester said in the release. “I truly believe violent crime prevention is a shared responsibility and today’s overwhelming community participation is evidence of the success we can achieve together.”
Sacramento police reported 57 homicides last year, tied for the city’s highest total since 2006. Lester has spoken repeatedly about prioritizing gun violence reduction since taking over as chief in January, even before the gang-fueled K Street shooting that left six dead and 12 injured early on April 3.
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