Valley police exchange guns for gift cards

PHOENIX - Two Valley police agencies collected unwanted firearms Saturday in an effort to keep children safe.

The Avondale and Phoenix police departments hosted the event called "Gift Cards for Guns" aiming to bring attention to gun safety issues and allow citizens to turn in firearms for a reward.

The anonymous, no-questions-asked event was held at three locations in Phoenix and one in Avondale. Weapons such as handguns, rifles or shotguns that were operational were exchanged for a $50 gift card to a local retailer.

Phoenix police Sgt. Thompson said that by the end of the day over 200 guns had been dropped off to police. Thompson said hundreds of rounds of ammunition were also turned in.

Thompson said the response was so good, police ran out of gift cards but people continued to drop off weapons.

People who still have unwanted firearms can turn them into the police, however, there are no more gift cards, Thompson said.

The Arizona Child Fatality Review reports at least two children a month died as a result of gun-related injuries and that one-fifth of all guns in the home of families are kept loaded and unlocked, police said.

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