Residents trade in 57 firearms for Beanie Baby collectibles

September 20, 1998|By Jamal E. Watson | Jamal E. Watson,SUN STAFF

Westminster police collected 57 firearms yesterday in a Beanie Baby-for-guns exchange sponsored by two local merchants.

"The exchange was a huge success," said Sydney Shure, owner of "ideas, etc. toys etc. ltd.," an organizer of the event. "We thought we would get at least 100 guns. We didn't get 100, but we're still satisfied with what was turned in."

Shure, 64, co-sponsored the exchange with Jeanette Gibby, who owns Gibby's Gifts and Miniatures, which operates out of Shure's store in the Route 140 Village Shopping Center. The trade-in was an effort to reduce the number of firearms on the streets.

Shure said she gave out the Beanie Babies -- including Erin, Glory and Princess bears -- in exchange for 41 handguns and 16 rifles turned in by Carroll County residents.

A police firearms instructor handled the exchanges in a roped-off area of the shopping center parking lot, where anyone turning in a firearm was told to unload it before turning it in for one of the stuffed, collectible toys.

Shure said she is considering a similar event in the spring to reduce children's accessibility to firearms.

In recent years, Baltimore police have exchanged money for guns, and other cities started campaigns urging people to exchange toys for guns.

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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