For the first time in Central Texas, a law enforcement agency will take a gun off your hands, ask no questions and give you money for groceries.

Identification won’t be required to turn in a weapon through Guns 4 Groceries, a program sponsored by the Austin Police Department and the Greater Austin Crime Commission that will allow police to buy guns in exchange for grocery store gift cards.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the main goals of the program are to reduce gun violence in Austin and help families that do not know what to do with an old gun in the home.

“This is not about trying to diminish someone’s Second Amendment right, and it’s not about us telling people they shouldn’t own a gun,” Acevedo said. “This program is for people who are too old to operate a gun or for people who no longer wish to have a gun in their home.”

Of the 13 homicides in Austin this year, at least seven involved guns.

There is no limit to how many guns a person can bring in, and Acevedo assures that no questions will be asked, unless it is obvious that a weapon is stolen. He said all guns would be tested to see whether they are linked to criminal activity, and if they are, officers would investigate the case.

Most of the guns will be destroyed.

Cary Roberts, executive director of the crime commission, said the group raised $8,000 to $10,000 in private donations to pay for the guns.

A $100 gift card will be given for each handgun or rifle, and a $200 gift card will be given for each assault rifle. Even air guns, BB guns or replica guns can net $10 cards each.

Source: Isadora Vail for The Dallas Morning News.

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