Hundreds of Austin residents swapped unwanted guns in exchange for gift cards at a church Saturday. The popular Guns4Groceries firearms buyback program is a partnership between the Austin Police Department, the Greater Austin Crime Commission, and the Jastrow Family Foundation, reports the Austin American-Statesman. By 11 a.m. Saturday, police had collected about 400 guns and expected to give away $40,000 worth of gift cards, said Richard Hill of the Greater Austin Crime Commission .
Most of the guns collected will be destroyed, though will be used in police training. Pro-gun activists with Texans for Accountable Government protested the program by advertising a counter Guns for Cash program to people who showed up to trade their guns. Outside the church parking lot, they offered 10 percent more than the value of the gift cards. Andrew Clements, 31, wore a rifle strapped across his back. “An event like this is a feel-good event,” Clements said. “It’s the equivalent of turning in your beer to reduce DWI.” Citing the importance of people’s Second Amendment rights, he said, “any form of disarmament to us is wrong.” Academic studies have concluded that gun buybacks have little impact on crime.