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Organizers collect more than 40 guns in gift exchange

Organizers of the Columbia Gift 4 Gun exchange called their first collection event Saturday a success.

Co-organizer Cory Crosby said their original goal was to collect 25 guns.

“Because we were able to get over 40 guns off the street, we’re going to have a lot more people willing to participate and get involved because that right there speaks volume,” Crosby said. “It shows that this was really effective today.”

People exchanged their guns Saturday for $100 gifts.

“Really, our whole goal was to help people with unwanted guns not have them laying around the house,” said co-organizer Sean Spence. “We really saw an awful lot of that.”

Organizers and volunteers originally planned to collect the unwanted guns at the Armory Sports Center, but was changed to a pick-up program after liability issues and concerns about turning in the weapons at a public location.

Spence said the guns were turned over to the Columbia Police Department to be destroyed.

The event was met with one protestor on Saturday who said gun buybacks weren’t effective.

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