Turning in guns for food

By Conor Mooney
By Anna Norris

May 10, 2014 Updated May 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) People traded in guns for groceries certificates Saturday afternoon.

It was the fifth annual Groceries for Guns event, which happens every year on Mother's Day weekend.

People with firearms were able to give them up in exchange for gift certificates for food.

"I have quite a few of them and I need to get rid of some of them. I haven't used them in ten years. I can turn them in and get something out of them. Some money or gifts or whatever," said Tom Lorson of Vestal.

A working handgun, rifle or shotgun equaled a $50 gift certificate, and $100 for assault rifles.

This year, 41 guns and three non-working guns were turned in.

"It's a safety issue. It's a peace issue. We've got to get the guns out of homes where there may be little children, you know, people who have mental health issues," said Helene Gilroy, organizer of the event.

Guns that didn't work were still taken, but no gift certificate was given in exchange.

All guns turned in will be destroyed by members of the Sheriff's Office and people who turned in weapons were granted complete amnesty.

The St. James Peace and Justice Committee sponsored the collection.