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Four Rhode Island cities plan gun buy-back for April 6

A display of 7-round .45 caliber handguns are seen at Coliseum Gun Traders Ltd. in Uniondale, New York January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Sta
A display of 7-round .45 caliber handguns are seen at Coliseum Gun Traders Ltd. in Uniondale, New York January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Sta

BOSTON (Reuters) - Providence and three other Rhode Island cities said on Thursday they would hold a gun buy-back on April 6, for residents to turn in unwanted firearms in exchange for gift cards from major retailers.

"Gun buy-backs are one way for local governments to remove unwanted firearms from our streets," said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. "If even one accident or tragedy is avoided due to our gun buy-back, this program will be worthwhile."

Police at the event, which will also be held in Warwick, Central Falls and Bristol, will hand out retail gift cards worth $50 to $200 in exchange for working firearms.

While experts debate how effective gun buybacks are in reducing shootings, governments at the local, state and federal level have stepped up their efforts to reduce gun violence in the wake of the December 14 massacre of 20 children and 6 school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Having run into stiff resistance from the powerful National Rifle Association for their efforts to restrict the most powerful firearms, military-style assault weapons, gun control advocates have focused on efforts to limit gun trafficking.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Greg McCune and Dan Grebler)

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