9 Dec 2008

Guns swapped for food vouchers

8:39 pm on 9 December 2008

Los Angeles police say a record number of illegal guns have been handed in this year in exchange for shopping vouchers.

Under a scheme introduced five years ago, residents of Los Angeles can give up their weapons anonymously for a $US100 voucher, the BBC reports.

Police collected more than 900 firearms and two hand grenades over two weekends - more than double the haul from a similar scheme last year.

The most popular vouchers were for a supermarket chain.

A police spokesperson put it down to the economic collapse and said many people did not have money to buy food.

Los Angeles is not the first city to offer rewards in exchange for firearms. Toronto in Canada ran a scheme called pixels for pistols, where gun owners traded weapons for digital cameras.