Crowds turn out at ‘Gas for Guns’ giveaway

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Saving lives was the purpose of a special giveaway Saturday in the Mid-South.

Memphians turned in guns in exchange for things like Mapco gas cards, grocery gift cards, and Grizzlies tickets at the annual "Gas for Guns" giveaway.

"We're attempting to save a life," said Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.

Rallings said the process is simple:

"Drive up, turn in a gun," Rallings said.

And the effort does not go in vain.

"So far a steady line of people and we're excited, to be of service to our community where people who have guns in their homes they don't want, we're waiting on them," Rallings said.

The "Gas for Guns" event was created in hopes of making Memphis streets safer. Last year, 530 guns were turned in and in 2015, police took about 720 weapons off the street.

"If there's a gun that's been recovered from a theft we'll try to return it to its owner, but other than that these guns will be destroyed," Rallings said.

City leaders say this year they hope to collect even more weapons, ultimately making Memphis streets safer and saving more lives

"We're not looking for criminals today, this is no questions asked," Rallings said.

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