Austinites bring unwanted firearms to police substation for gun surrender event

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chief Brian Manley from the Austin Police Department said last Friday they are aware of increased crime in the city.

For many of those crimes, the people used guns.

So Tuesday, APD launched a new program today — a gun surrender program.

From 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, officers walked into the parking lot of the east Austin police substation to pick up guns. People drove in with handguns, shotguns, rifles, bags and boxes of ammunition.

Arthur McDonald brought his old .22 — he’s never shot it.

“It’s at least 50 years old probably. Belongs to my dad. He died in 1988,” said McDonald, holding the .22.

His wife doesn’t want the gun in the house and neither does he.

“There are probably quite a few people like me that would like to get rid of a gun. But you know, you have a gun you want to get rid of, you can’t just throw it away, throw it in the trash. If you have shells or bullets, you can’t put those in the trash,” said McDonald.

The large early turnout certainly surprised the police.

“Yes. Totally surprised. It’s a great turnout,” said APD Lt. Gizette Gaslin.

After someone surrenders a gun, the Austin Police Department will document the weapon, and log it. Checking that serial number to see if that gun was stolen. After that, they would try and return that gun to the original owner.

Officers there told KXAN the overwhelming majority of guns brought in were not stolen. That is the only thing officers will look into. They did not ask any other questions about the people bringing them in.

The key for them is to get unwanted guns out of the community.

“Somebody may break in his house, so we want to make sure we’re part of that solution,” said Lt. Gaslin.

A large machine will shred the guns. Then, the metal will be melted down to be re-used for products like rebar.

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