(James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio)
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Residents traded their guns for grocery gift cards at Blessed Trinity Church in Fall River on Saturday.
Those who turn in their firearms get $50 and $75 gift certificates for groceries.
The event started in 1995 by the late Reverend Dr. Robert Lawrence, a year after a Falls River police officer was shot and killed.
Lawrence's wife, Elizabeth Duffy, says the event was not widely received back then.
"He said 'we have to do something' and at the time, believe it or not it was a very controversial something," Duffy said. "He wanted to get the guns off the streets."
Mario, a local attending the event, was turning in his shotgun. He says he doesn't want it laying around the house anymore.
"I got kids and I don't want any accidents to happen, " Mario said.
The guns received so far include handguns, shotguns, rifles, pellet guns, and a flintlock pistol.
Since the event started, over 3,000 firearms have been collected.
WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports