Hundreds of guns exchanged for gift cards - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hundreds of guns exchanged for gift cards

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ENCINITAS (CNS) - Nearly 900 guns and a live hand grenade were turned in Saturday during a guns-for-gift cards exchange in Cardiff-by-the-Sea hosted by the Encinitas Sheriff's Station, authorities said.

Participants turned in 899 handguns, shotguns and rifles, along with the grenade at the no questions asked exchange, held between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mira Costa College San Elijo Campus on Manchester Avenue, officials with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

Wal-Mart gift cards of $100 dollars were given in exchange for handguns and $150 cards for rifles, officials said. The sheriff's department and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office used asset forfeiture funds, or money seized in connection with illegal activities, to purchase the gift cards, authorities said.

Sheriff's officials said the goal of the exchange was to safely dispose of unwanted firearms that could accidentally hurt a child or be used in a crime. The collected weapons will be destroyed, sheriff's officials said.

Unwanted guns can also be dropped off at any sheriff's station during business hours Monday through Friday, but a gift card will not be awarded, and personal information will be required for an evidence report, sheriff's officials said.

Those who turn in weapons outside the guns-for-gift cards exchange were asked to leave the unloaded firearm in the trunk of a car and inform a station receptionist, and to not bring the weapon into the facility authorities said.

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