BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Local residents traded guns for gas cars during the “Guns for Gas” Initiative.
A non-profit organization, TRUCE, partnered with the Mayor’s Office and Law enforcement to solve both problems of high gas prices and high gun violence.
The “Gas for Guns” initiative is a way to safely dispose of a firearm and get a gas card from the organization.
“It’s an opportunity for us to remove as many unsecured weapons as possible from our community,” said Executive Director of TRUCE, Aishala Burgess.
Once the firearm is in the hands of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, they use “clearing” to remove the source of ammunition and properly clean the firearm.
According to Sgt. Casey Lillie, with the firearms unit of East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, when handling a firearm, you need to take certain precautions.
“Treat every weapon as if they were loaded.” Sgt. Lillie says. “Don’t point at anything that you’re not willing to harm or destroy and keep fingers off the trigger, the weapon is just a machine.”
When turning in the firearms, according to Burgess, anything smaller than a .380, you will receive $50, anything larger than a .380, you will receive $100, and any AR style rifle, you can receive up to $300.”
Those who participated in the event had a mix of why they decided to bring their firearms. Some say they brought their weapons to get rid, to add more storage at home. Others say, they brought them for law enforcement to have them to help protect their kids.
One of the donors, named Alvin, made it a priority to get rid of his son’s guns.
Alvin tells his son, “I’m your dad, it’s better me take it from you, than you get caught out here with the streets with it, and somebody hurt you or you hurt somebody else.”
If you do not feel safe in your home with a firearm, you can call local authorities, for proper disposal.