Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Saturday's 'Guns for gas' event aims to reduce gun violence in BR

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BATON ROUGE - With gun violence becoming way too common here in the Capital City, officals are creative with their efforts to get guns off the streets.

"A lot of guns are in the wrong hands and people are getting them illegally," said James Cain.

With these crimes happening far too often, Baton Rouge Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, and city officials teamed up Saturday to get guns off the streets.

" I didn't know how to dispose of a gun, I never even held one," Kelly Chapman.

People drove up to the parking lot at Oasis Christian Church, turned in their guns no questions asked, and were given up to 300 dollars in gas cards in return.

"Before we destroy them we run the serial numbers. If they're stolen, we'll return them back to the owners," said Major Anthony Ponton.

The WBRZ investigative unit reports homicides are up 43-percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2020.

This sets a record for murder in the city-parish..

Baton Rouge police say the jump in homicides across the city is partly connected to stolen guns.

"We're trying to get the guns out of homes because many homes have been burglarized. We're trying to get the bad guys from getting a hold of these guns. If we can get them and destroy them we'll be keeping them off the streets, so that way no one can steal them out from homes and use them for some type of violence," said Ponton.

The program began in 2010.

This year, more than two dozen guns were collected during Saturday's event.


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