Guns-for-giftcards program showing big results - WSMV Channel 4

Guns-for-giftcards program showing big results

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police want to put money in your pocket, just in time for Christmas.

This weekend, officers will be passing out $25 giftcards in exchange for guns, no questions asked.

All you have to do is show up with a gun - even a broken gun. Hand it over to police, and you will walk away with a giftcard to Dollar General.

"Turn in a firearm, and hand it to a police officer who will render it safe," said police Chief Steve Anderson.

So far this month, Metro officers have collected 256 firearms from Nashville citizens. They are guns that potentially could have been used to commit a crime.

Now, they hope to break through the 300 mark all in the name of safety.

"We're standing here as clergy people, telling you that there will be no questions asked. You drop your gun off, get your card and go your way," said the Rev. Michael Joiner. "This is not a trick. It's not a joke. It's not a setup. It's the real thing."

The so-called gun-buyback program is set up at Tusculum Hills Baptist Church on Nolensville Pike.

Anytime between 8 a.m. and noon, anyone can hand over a gun and remain completely anonymous. The church's pastor calls it an opportunity they could not pass up.

"It's a proven event. As the chief already shared, so many guns are turned in, and we believe that every gun turned in will save a life," said the Rev. Welsey Baldwin.

Metro has held this program in years past, but this time they reached out specifically to the Hispanic community. Officers who speak Spanish will be on hand to help those who may have tips but not know how to communicate that.

"This is something that gives people an opportunity to get that, potentially, out of the hands of a criminal - out of the hands of a child - and to prevent a tragedy," said Davidson County District Attorney Tory Johnson.

Police said Thursday that recent calls to Crime Stoppers (74-CRIME) are up 70 percent. As a result of those calls, at least 741 armed robbers have been taken off the streets.

Officials said that goes to show the community is playing a big role in helping police get a handle on local crime.

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