About 90 guns and rocket launchers were exchanged for grocery store gift cards during a no-questions-asked buyback operation at the South Bay Courthouse in Chula Vista, a police lieutenant said today.
The Chula Vista Police Department, the National City Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office hosted the five-hour “Guns for Gift Cards” exchange Saturday, Chula Vista police Lt. Roxana Kennedy said.
“This event represents the collaborative efforts of several law enforcement agencies who share a common goal of keeping our communities safe,” Chula Vista police Chief David Bejarano said in a statement prior to the event.”We welcome the opportunity to remove unwanted firearms from our streets and possibly prevent yet another senseless act of violence.”
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department used asset forfeiture funds to purchase the gift cards, according to Kennedy.
The Chula Vista and National City police departments, the District Attorney’s Office and the Chula Vista Police Foundation also contributed funds.
All the weapons collected were to be destroyed, Kennedy said.
Saturday’s buyback event was the second of its kind in recent months, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Officials collected more than 350 guns during a similar event in Southeast San Diego in December hosted by the United African-American Ministerial Action Council.