Bikes Not Guns: Trading Firearms for New Wheels

Uruguayan government begins "Weapons for Life" exchange program

In a new creative initiative, the Uruguayan government is offering citizens a brand new bike or a low-end computer in exchange for their unregistered guns.

The program, called Weapons for Life (Weapons por la Vida), is a response to the prevalence of illegal firearms and the country’s rising rate of homicide. The South American country of 3.3 million residents currently has more than a million firearms in circulation (and more than half are unregistered), meaning that Uruguay has the 9th highest gun-per-capita ratio of any country in the world.

While other countries, such as the United States and Australia, have tried gun buyback programs, Uruguay’s new approach could prove even more advantageous. The program has been praised for its aim to both reduce gun crime and improve the lives of people with illegal weapons.

The program launched this week.

Via Treehugger.