Goods for Guns good for city

June 26, 2008 4:14:20 PM PDT
A Philadelphia program urging gun owners to trade in their weapons for useful items has been a big success.No questions asked is the catch phrase and promise of Guns for Goods, a program set for this Saturday at the Tustin playground in Overbrook. People can turn in a weapon in exchange for a $100 Shoprite / Forman Mills voucher.

"We along with these partners here are doing what it is we can do to try to get these guns off street," Sate Senator Vincent Hughes (D) said.

Philadelphia Safety Net and Police department gun givebacks over the last year and a half have netted nearly 2,000 guns. Officials contend every gun makes a potentially life saving difference.

"Even if we only get 2 guns today that will be two less guns that can be used against a citizen. Two less guns that can be used against my fellow officers," Captain Melvin Singleton of the Philadelphia Police Department said.

While no questions are asked of the person who turns in a gun, the weapons are examined, their history traced to see if they're linked to any crimes, and then they'll be destroyed.

To combat gun violence, Philadelphia has been struggling with the state for power to restrict gun sales in the city. The mayor says today's 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling against Washington D.C.'s gun ban actually bodes well for Philadelphia because it does reference some weapons limitations.

"I think if the court says the right is not unlimited, it means it can be limited," Mayor Michael Nutter (D) said.

Officials hope this Saturday's Guns for Goods exchange at the Tustin Playground on 60th & Columbia will get some guns off the street.