Local church offering gift cards for guns, no questions asked

Gifts for Guns Wrap Up
Published: Dec. 20, 2013 at 3:26 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2014 at 3:28 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Need extra money to buy any last minute gifts? A Charlotte church's annual program could help. All you need to do is hand over a gun and any ammunition that goes with it.

New Life Fellowship Church in north Charlotte wants to make the streets safer in time for Christmas so it's hosting its seventh annual "gifts for guns" program.

Pastor John P. Kee says they're passionate about getting guns off the streets.

"We just feel like we're doing our part," he said. "So many times there are those that want the crime with the gun. We say, let's get the gun and prevent the crime."

It's an open invitation for anyone to bring in a gun -- no questions asked -- and a get a gift card in return.

"When we first started, everybody thought it would not work," he recalled. "But you would be surprised. The demographics blew our mind: grandmothers, kids, 14 year olds, 16 year olds, trading them for gift cards."

The guidelines: Bring the unloaded gun in a plastic bag with the ammunition in separate plastic bag. You can get a $25 to $50 gift card for handguns and $50 to $100 gift card for shotguns and assault rifles. No more than five guns per person will be accepted and you must leave immediately after receiving your gift card.

The program started Thursday night at 10 p.m. and runs non-stop until Saturday at noon.

"I'm here to Saturday at noon," said Pastor Kee. "All night tonight. All night tomorrow night. We'll be making noise as much as we can. We'll be hitting the street. We want to take that gun off the streets."

He says one less gun on the street means one more life is saved, and added, "these young boys getting killed on the weekends. I have sons. That could have very well been one of my children.

That harsh reality is what he says keeps the program going in hopes that one year, Charlotte will truly know peace during the Christmas season.

"I think we're not only doing our part --we're trying to create new avenues, new ideas to still make a difference in Charlotte Mecklenburg," said Kee.

New Life Fellowship Church is located at 1331 Samuel Street. That's off Statesville Avenue in the old Double Oaks Community. You can even call ahead to let them know you're coming: 704-377-7030.

Security will be provided the entire time the program runs.

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