Frank Arteaga spends each holiday season exchanging food or money for guns. He urges youth, especially those involved in gangs, to turn over their weapons.
The program is part of an effort to save lives through gun violence prevention and a way to offer youth a fresh start.
Already this season, nine weapons have been handed over as part of the program. Since 1993, 59 guns have been taken to police with no questions asked.
“The fact is that you have 15,16,17 year old kids packing lethal weapons. Once they get caught with that weapon, everything on that weapon can be tied back to them,” Arteaga said. “All the ballistics, can be linked to drive-by shootings, all the casings, they all come together. The person is better off turning that weapon over with 'no questions asked' and maybe clearing that chapter in their lives.”
Arteaga will be at the Hill Service Center in Pueblo until the 31st to collect guns. They can be exchanged for money, food or Christmas trees from noon until 5:00 p.m.