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'Overwhelming response' to gun amnesty program, police say

A new program designed to get guns off the streets of Halifax is being heralded as a major success by police.

A new program designed to get guns off the streets of Halifax is being heralded as a major success by police.

Pixels for Pistols, a gun amnesty program launched last week in HRM, allows citizens to turn in a functional firearm in exchange for a new digital camera and a gift card from Henry’s School of Imaging.

In the first week, police have collected 101 firearms and more than 2,000 rounds of ammo.
That’s already double the entire weapons haul from the last time police ran the month-long program in 2006. Another 70 people have made appointments for this week.

“We are very pleased with the overwhelming response,” said Superintendent Don Spicer, HRM’s public safety officer. “Every gun that is retrieved during this program is one less gun that could end up in the wrong hands.”

Spicer said many of the guns used in street crime are stolen from legitimate gun users – and if people aren’t using their firearms for hunting or recreation, they might as well turn them over.

In 2006 the program did not include giving out cameras, which were donated by Henry’s.

“In partnering with Henry’s cameras it provides an innovative twist to the standard gun amnesty that we’ve done in the past,” said Halifax Regional Police Const. Brian Palmeter.

“We’re very excited by the response. We’re happy to be busy.”

Palmeter said extra staff were needed to keep up with the amount of guns being brought in.

The program runs until the end of the month. Non-functional firearms and ammunition are good for a gift card alone, and every firearm is checked to ensure it has not been used in a crime.

To turn in your gun or ammunition, call 490-6977 or e-mail gunamnesty@halifax.ca to arrange to have the items picked up. Weapons cannot be brought to a police facility.
- with files from Paul McLeod

 
 
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