BALTIMORE, MD -- One day after a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, Baltimore police collected more than 400 guns during the "Goods For Guns" initiative in the city.
A total of 461 guns were collected in exchange for approximately $50,000 in gift certificates to a local grocery chain, according to a release from City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young's office.
Young announced the initiative Wednesday at City Hall. On his Twitter account, Young said Saturday that planning for the program began before Thanksgiving, and that it took "a true team effort."
In a news release, Young said: "Today, I heard from a diverse array of people who just wanted to remove firearms from their homes. These people, both young and old, told me that they feared their guns winding up in the wrong hands and just wanted to avoid that possibility altogether."
Residents exchanged unwanted firearms for $100 gift certificates for Klein's ShopRite.
Klein's ShopRite Vice President Howard Klein said, "We did something meaningful on a day when a lot of people are experiencing terrible loss and tragedy. You can’t put a price tag on an event like this and we can’t wait to do it again."
The results of the program come amid reaction to a school shooting in Newtown, CT, where reports indicate a lone gunman murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. The gunman reportedly started the rampage by shooting his mother at the home they shared in Newtown, and ended it by shooting himself.
The program, operated by UpLift Solutions, was modeled after a similar initiative in Philadelphia, according to the release.
Officers from the Baltimore City Police Department collected the firearms, which were transported to the Northeast District. The release said the guns will be melted down.
In Prince George's County, Laurel police collected more than 150 weapons Saturday.