Wal-Mart gift cards for guns.
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This holiday exchange was a far cry from the typical cookie or white elephant gift swap.

Instead, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department swapped guns for gift cards Saturday outside the Mira Costa Community College in Cardiff.

People turned over 899 handguns, shotguns, rifles and one live hand grenade in exchange for Wal-Mart gift cards, no questions asked. Handguns earned $100 each, while long guns were handed in for $150 gift cards.

For Dep. James Steinmeyer, the event holds personal significance. On Feb. 20 of this year, he was shot in the head as he tried to arrest a man suspected of stealing a vehicle.

That suspect had gotten the gun illegally.

“I think that is an event in my life that makes this relevant,” said Steinmeyer. “Like I mentioned — the gun being illegally obtained — any time there’s a gun in a household where they don’t know what to do with it, they don’t really want it around, there’s a potential that that could fall into the wrong hands, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent here today.”

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