BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish leaders and law enforcement collected 38 weapons Saturday during a gun buyback program called "Gas for Guns."
"This is an opportunity for our community to get the guns out of your houses, get them out of your vehicles, wherever they may be," said Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie, Jr.
The "no questions asked" event was part of the BRAVE initiative. People were offered gift cards for Circle K gas in exchange for their weapons.
The event took place at McKowen Missionary Baptist Church, which is located just blocks from an accidental shooting that left a 17-year-old dead Friday night.
"We can do a great service to our community by getting these guns off the streets and unsecured guns out of homes ... It can only benefit the families and the children as they grow up in this community," said Gerard Robinson, Sr., the pastor at McKowen church.
"One of the worst things in the world for me as a 26-year pastor is having to eulogize a child who has been shot by an unsecured weapon in the home," he continued.
Vernon Ginn was one of those participating. He exchanged a pistol he inherited for a gas card.
"I thought I would bring it, contribute it, and get some free gas and eliminate the possibility of ever falling in the wrong hands," he said. "If it saves one hand, it's worth it."