Grocery cards boost gun swap


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GnL
August 7, 2007, 07:15 AM
I can feel the crime rate decreasing as I type this.../sarcasm



August 7, 2007

Grocery cards boost gun swap

Police, clergy collect 102 weapons in trade for $50 from Wegmans

Patrick Flanigan
Staff writer

An unexpected number of people chose butter over guns Saturday when the Rochester Police Department ran out of grocery store gift cards in its second firearms-exchange program of the summer.

Officers collected 102 guns Saturday, more than the previous total number of guns collected since the program was created last year. People who turned in a gun at one of five churches Saturday were given a $50 gift card, donated by Wegmans Food Markets.

At one point, the officers ran out of cards and Police Chief David Moore had to rush to a store to get more, said the Rev. Deloris Simpson, a member of the Clergy Response Team.

"Thank God for Wegmans," said Simpson. "They've given people the incentive to say 'enough is enough.' One lady turned in four guns and she didn't even want a certificate. She just wanted them out of her house."

The police collected 29 long guns, 69 handguns and four air guns. Officer Deidre Taccone said the department was just as pleased to get the air guns because they're also commonly used in crimes.

The gift-card incentive was added this year and was credited for improving it. Thirty-four guns were collected in June more than all of last year.

"Given last year's numbers, we thought we could help the program. But even we didn't anticipate this level of success," said Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale.

PFLANIGA@DemocratandChronicle.com

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070807/NEWS01/708070346

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