Dozens of people exchanged their firearms Tuesday for gift-cards for buying food on the second anniversary of the attack against now-former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, which took the lives of six people at a Tucson shopping center.
“I think it’s a very good idea to give people who no longer want their weapons the chance to to hand them in,” Tucson resident Hector Barragal, who traded in a modified .22 caliber hunting rifle, told Efe.
The weapons were handed over to the Tucson Police Department.
Barragal said that what he liked best about giving up his gun was the $50 food card he got in return.
He expressed his support for greater nationwide restrictions on the sale of high-caliber weapons, but said he defends the Second Amendment that allows citizens to keep and bear arms.
“The only thing I believe is that they shouldn’t sell high-caliber guns that can shoot off so many bullets,” said Barragal, who gave assurances that he has no plans to buy another weapon.
The event was organized by Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik.
“We want to give people a chance to give up their guns, if that’s what they want to do,” Kozachik told Efe.
He said that during the first hour around 75 people traded in their guns, including a woman who said she’s had four handguns in a closet since her husband died.
“We had another individual who told me his brother committed suicide six months ago and for him, this was a way of closing that very sad chapter in his life,” the councilman said.
Events like today’s, the councilman said, are very important for the Tucson community, which two years ago suffered the pain of the attack on Giffords in which another 13 people were wounded.
Kozachik acknowledged that perhaps events like this won’t avoid tragedies like the one in Tucson, or like the killing of 26 children in Connecticut last month, but perhaps they could prevent a shooting accident in somebody’s home.
“Many parents with small children don’t want guns in the house,” the councilman said.