NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's not every day you have people lined up, early on a Saturday morning, to give away something expensive that they own. But that's exactly what happened Saturday morning in North Nashville for a unique gun giveback event hosted by the Nashville Predators.
They came in one at a time, all willingly donated by their owners.
"In addition to the A-R 15, we’ve actually got three receivers, which is the registered firearm part of the AR-15," said Sgt. Jim Reed of the Metro Nashville Police Department.
They received everything from pistols and long-barreled rifles to shotguns illegally modified.
"We’ve got some really old guns that would be considered antiques; we’ve got some, as you can see, really modern guns. Semi-automatics, revolvers — every caliber — pretty much everything you can imagine," said Sgt. Reed.
The only constant seemed to be: there were no questions asked.
"It’s total anonymity. You come up here; you turn this thing in — we’re not taking names or documenting any information. Just turn it in and walk away," said Sgt. Reed.
In exchange for turning in some "heat," donors received gifts and a warm welcome from Nashville's team on ice.
"We have Preds tickets, Preds giveaways, and then you also get a gift card to Kroger," said Rebecca King, Vice President of Community Relations.
"And two tickets to a Predators game, which I’ve never been to a Predators game, so that’s pretty exciting," said Sharon Haymer, a participant of the program.
Sharon said this was a golden opportunity.
"I had been waiting for this for several years now, holding onto those two guns so I could get something for them and get them out of my house," she said.
She takes stock in the fact that these guns won't end up in the wrong hands.
"I would have hated somebody to break into my house and take those two guns — well, the one that worked, especially," said Haymer.
From here, the firearms will be inventoried by Metro Police.
"We’ll run the serial numbers through a computer database. If by chance the gun was stolen recently — last year or five years ago — we’ll try to find the owner and make efforts to return that stolen weapon to the owner," said Don Aaron, spokesperson for MNPD.
The remaining guns may be put to work at Metro's Crime Lab.
"Some of these weapons may be used for reference guns," Aaron said.
In all, 76 guns were collected, including 45 handguns. Maybe it was the gifts, or maybe the cause. Either way, the Predators and MNPD seemed thrilled those firearms won't end back up on the street.
"I have been shocked by how many people have come through," said King. "We started at 9:00, and people were lined up at 8:30 waiting to give in their guns and drive through."
Today's Gift Cards for Guns event in partnership with the @PredsFoundation & Greater Revelations Church resulted in 76 firearms, 45 of them pistols, being turned in for Kroger gift cards. This event gave residents an opportunity to exchange unsafe or unwanted guns for gift cards. pic.twitter.com/yt3FCctOb1— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 20, 2022