Chester gets hundreds of guns off streets

CHESTER, Pa. - August 7, 2010

A lot of people took advantage of the deal and the city of Chester's better off.

Dozens of Chester residents were carrying guns on the streets today. But in this case, that was a good thing.

They were bringing the guns here to the firehouse on 14th Street, turning them into police, and getting $100 ShopRite gift cards in return.

Mayor Wendell Butler says the Guns for Goods program seemed like a natural "next step" to help curb violence after the recently-lifted state of emergency. "Guns that are out there in the domain... I'm very nervous about that," Chester Mayor Wendell Butler told Action News. "So to have them come here and now they're going to be in the hands of the police for smelting... I feel a lot better."

Angela Bobo-Tildon turned in a pistol that belonged to her late husband. Chances are, her gun was probably not going to be used in a crime. But police say guns like a Tech-9 that was turned in with the serial numbers drilled out is a perfect example of what they're up against on the streets every day.

"Most of the times a gun like this we usually find committing a crime," said Chester Police Officer Ernest Manerchia. " These are very well known, for criminals having guns like these."

In all, police collected 300 guns. Chester City Police say gun owners who missed Saturday's Guns-for-Goods even can still call them or the Delaware County District Attorney's office to have old guns disposed of safely.

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