In Lean Times, SoCal Gun Owners Trade Arms For Eats

LOS ANGELES (AP) - With the economy souring, a record number of
gun owners are giving up their weapons in return for gift cards to buy food and other goods.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department continues its annual Gifts for Guns program in Compton today.

The program allows people to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards to use at supermarkets, department stores or electronic stores. People get double that amount for turning in assault rifles.

In years past, residents wanted gift cards to buy electronic goods and other presents for the holidays. However, this year, authorities said the majority want food cards.

Authorities say 590 guns and two hand grenades were handed in last weekend. That's more than in any other year and easily eclipses last year's total of 387 guns collected over both weekends.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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