Try 3 months for $3

WATERLOO - Armed with a stack of Shell gasoline gift cards, Waterloo police seized a pile of rifles and shotguns and a box full of handguns Saturday.

Tallies weren't immediately available, but the Gas For Guns event, sponsored by Jim Lind Service, ran out of cards within 40 minutes.

More than 90 people showed up to the parking lot next to the fire department headquarters for the trade, and officers were only at No. 24 before exhausting $5,000 worth of cards.

Jon Jermann of Cedar Falls was one of the lucky people to arrive early - about three hours before it officially started at 10 a.m.

He brought a .22-caliber handgun he found while cleaning his father's basement after his father died in 1995.

"I can use gas more than I can use the gun," Jermann said.

Another person who showed up early, Jeff Pabst of Grundy Center, saw the event as way to get rid of an old .22-caliber bolt-action rifle he has owned for a number of years.

"To me, it's a good way to get rid of a $25 gun," said Pabst, who said he is a proud gun owner.

Gas For Guns paid $100 for functioning rifles and shotguns and $150 for each handgun. Each person could turn in up to two firearms.

Some of the guns that were surrendered appeared to have a market value of less than $100. Others, including a Belgian-made Browning 9mm pistol, were worth more.

After the gift cards ran out, some people who remained in line opted to hand in their guns without compensation.

In addition to the actual firearms, residents also turned in five plastic storage boxes full of ammunition and a rusty Red Ryder BB gun.

The ammo will be destroyed. The firearms will be given to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Some models will be added to the DCI's reference library for forensic purposes, and the rest will be destroyed.

Police said Jim Lind Service is planning a similar exchange for fall.

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