Crossgates a lure to turn in weapons

GUILDERLAND — A church in Albany is offering gifts to a suburban mall to anyone who turns in a handgun.

Victory Christian Church, as part of its Gifts for Guns program, will accept any handgun, no questions asked, in exchange for a $150 Crossgates Mall gift card, good at any store.
 

The program, according to founder Pastor Charles Muller, is in its fourth year, and, on average, collects 30 guns per year; 11 have already been turned in this year.

“It doesn’t matter if the person turning it in has a permit,” said Muller. “A lot of times people have unused guns lying around and if kids get their hands on them, there are accidents or they are used for crime; we want to get those guns off the street.”

Guns may be turned in to 118 Quail St., Albany, through Christmas.

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If the project does not go in, board members pointed out, the land can revert to its original business zoning.

"We don’t want to add things back for next year, and then have to make cuts,” cautioned Guilderland Superintendent Marie Wiles.