Gun owners give up weapons for groceries

SAN DIEGO — Gun owners had a chance to exchange weapons for Friday morning.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the United African American Ministerial Action Council held another installment of their “Guns for Gift Cards” program from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tubman/Chavez Multicultural Center in Valencia Park.

The program allows people to turn in working-condition guns, no questions asked, in exchange for monetary vouchers redeemable at area grocery stores. Shotguns and rifles bring $50 credit each, while pistols and assault-type weapons fetch $100 apiece.

Guns Turned Into Sheriff's Participants must place the weapons, unloaded, in the trunk of their cars before arriving at the event, where uniformed officers will provide further instructions. All collected guns will be destroyed.

Since the program began four years ago, a total of 851 firearms have been impounded, officials said.

An outlay of $10,000 in asset-forfeiture funds paid for the gift cards that will go to those discarding their guns Friday, according to the sheriff’s department.