Handing over everything from sawed-off shotguns to a James Bond-style single-shot weapon resembling a pen, New Yorkers are trading guns for $100 gift certificates at Toys R Us.

Now the stunningly successful program is being extended in one of the city's most violent neighborhoods, and a congressman and the leader of the NAACP hope to expand it nationally.The program began last Wednesday, when New York's police commissioner and the businessman who dreamed up the swap announced that anyone surrendering a gun by the end of Christmas Day at the police station in the Washington Heights neighborhood would get a $100 gift certificate for toys.

On Monday, after more than 375 guns had been turned in, Commissioner Raymond Kelly and businessman Fernando Mateo announced the program would be extended at least through Jan. 6, thanks to a flood of donations.

Among the weapons turned in for toys were a handmade, pen-size weapon, a semiautomatic rifle with a fold-down bayonet and an Army Colt .45.

There were also several sawed-off shotguns and a number of TEC-9 semiautomatic handguns, which have become the weapon of choice among drug gangs on the streets of Washington Heights, in northern Manhattan.

A man identified only as Jose told The New York Times he would buy a dollhouse for his little girl after turning in his 9mm semiautomatic pistol. "I guess I probably still need it," he said, "but this thing is so good to just let go by."

"Who would have thought that out of Washington Heights would come a glimmer of real hope, a strategy that works?" said Benjamin Chavis, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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