Sheriff's deputies collect unwanted guns for gift cards - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sheriff's deputies collect unwanted guns for gift cards

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Gun owners around San Diego County cashed in their unwanted firearms for gift cards Saturday in San Marcos.

San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies, with the help of other agencies, collected nearly 400 weapons in 5 hours at the San Marcos sheriff's station, no questions asked.

The event netted 207 handguns, 173 long guns, and two assault rifles. Officials said an AK47-style rifle and a WWII-era Luger were also collected.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department used $25,000 in asset forfeiture funds and money or property seized from criminal activity to purchase the gift cards. Oceanside and Carlsbad police also chipped in to purchase the gift cards.

"If you're not a normal gun user, or not proficient or comfortable with guns around the house, we would rather get that gun off the streets," said Captain Mike McClain, San Diego Sheriff's Department.

Participants received a $50 gift card for exchanging a rifle or shotgun, $100 for handguns and $150 for assault weapons.

Robin Berda says he's an avid shooter, but doesn't have use for guns anymore, making this the perfect opportunity to give them up.

"These things I don't use anymore, so I figured I'd wait until the gun buyback came along and I'd get rid of them," Berda said.

Cliff Stoffer used to hunt, but he, too, hasn't used his guns for quite some time. He wants to ensure his family is safe.

"I'm more concerned with possibly an accident happening with them because I have an 11-year-old grandson," Stoffer said.

Officials said weapons collected Saturday will be checked to ensure they're not stolen or connected to a crime. If something turns up when the weapons are investigated, they will be turned over to the appropriate authorities. The rest of the guns collected Saturday will be destroyed.

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