Prince George’s County police will host its first ever “Gift Cards for Guns” exchange program Saturday as an attempt to reduce gun-related crimes and give an incentive to those willing to anonymously trade-in their weapons.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, county police will be at First Baptist Church of Highland Park, 6801 Sheriff Road in Landover to collect handguns from those discarding their firearms and in return will receive $100 VISA gift cards. This is the first time the department has done this type of program.
Sgt. Sonya Rorls, a county police spokeswoman, said those coming to hand in their weapons can do so anonymously.
“We’re not asking questions, we’re going to make it simple,” she said.
Rorls advised residents using the service to make sure the weapons are unloaded and that they are locked and kept in a trunk when being transported. She said the police department will accept the weapons no matter their condition, whether functional or not functional.
Officer First Class Iris Acosta, a county police spokeswoman, said residents who may have just found a gun or do not have knowledge of how to handle weapons should call the police department and an officer would come to them to pick it up.
The department created the program to try a new initiative to reduce violent activity during the summer months, which traditionally sees an increase in crime, Rorls said. She said officers will look into further dates and times for the “Gift Cards for Guns” program depending on the outcome of Saturday’s event.
“This is the start of a new initiative. The weather is breaking, there’s more crime during the summer months and we want to get it going now,” Rorls said. “Hopefully it will have a great turn out.”