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GUN OWNERS IN ST. LOUIS TURN IN ARMS FOR CASH

SHARE GUN OWNERS IN ST. LOUIS TURN IN ARMS FOR CASH

Gun sales in St. Louis were brisk this week, but it's one time the police were happy to hear it.

An estimated 1,100 firearms had been turned in to the Police Department by Tuesday in the first two days of a cash-for-guns program intended to curb violence. Police temporarily ran out of cash vouchers given in exchange for the guns."This early success is truly amazing," Police Chief Clarence Harmon said.

St. Louis had 217 homicides so far this year, compared with 177 during all of last year.

The buyback program was financed with $25,000 each from the Police Department and the business community.

Harmon, who is trying to raise more money to continue the program, said the department money came mostly from drug dealers through forfeiture laws.

Each gun is worth $50 in cash and a $10 gift certificate from a grocery chain. People who turned in more than one gun could claim $50 for each but only one food certificate.