APD hands out $30,000 in grocery vouchers for guns

Sunday, June 6, 2010
By Paul Martin

By: News 8 Austin Staff
News8Austin.com

There was an overwhelming response to the Austin Police Department’s first ever “Guns for Groceries” event.

Hundreds of people turned out Saturday to exchange unwanted guns for vouchers to buy groceries.

“The line is very shocking to me. We had people in the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. waiting to turn their guns in, and the event did not start until 9 a.m,” APD’s Sgt. Ely Reyes said.

Department officials ran out of grocery vouchers after about two and a half hours.

APD asked the community to turn in any gun, no questions asked. In exchange, people got anywhere from $10 to $200 in grocery store gift cards.

“People like me who don’t use them, haven’t taken them out of the case for 25 years. If my house was broken into and stolen then they could be used against somebody else or for a crime,” participant Laurie Delong said.

Officials still took guns until 3 p.m., but didn’t give away any more gift cards. According to Austin police, they collected about 320 guns and handed out about $30,000 in grocery vouchers.

All the guns collected will be checked to see if they’ve been used in any crimes. Then, they’ll be destroyed.

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