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Gun buyback program sites open today

Saturday, December 08, 2001

Two gun buyback programs are exchanging gift certificates for guns today.

Pittsburgh Gun Amnesty Day is a response to gun-related homicides and is aimed primarily at the city's African-American community. There have been 57 homicides in Pittsburgh this year, and guns were used in 50. A disproportionate number of killings were in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

The program is using the convenience and credibility of neighborhood churches to encourage gun owners to give up their weapons, according to Councilman Sala Udin. It offers $25 gift certificates -- one per household -- for Giant Eagle, Kaufmann's and Toys R Us.

The Goods for Guns campaign targets owners of unwanted guns that could end up killing or injuring children accidentally. It offers $50 gift certificates for handguns and $25 certificates for rifles and shotguns.

The certificates are primarily for Giant Eagle and Kaufmann's, and there is a limit of two certificates per household. Nine hundred gun locks will also be distributed for free, with a limit of three per household. Firearms must be operable.

Both programs destroy the guns. Police officers and volunteers collect the firearms. No names or addresses are required. Firearms dealers are not eligible.

Pittsburgh Gun Amnesty Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Baptist Temple Church, 7241 Race St., Homewood
Allen Chapel 1810 Fulton St., Manchester
Mount Ararat Baptist Church 271 Paulson Ave., East Liberty
Wesley Center AME Zion Church, 2701 Centre Ave., Hill District

Goods for Guns, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Old Engine Co. 1 Firehouse, 344 Blvd. of the Allies, Downtown
Homestead Police Department, 140 E. Ninth Ave.
Wilkinsburg Borough Building, 605 Ross St.
Monroeville No. 4 Fire Hall, 4370 Northern Pike

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