Pixels for Pistols Program in Canada Lets People Swap Guns for Cameras

Officials over in the Canadian city of Winnipeg want to reduce gun violence and the number of firearms floating around, so they’re turning to… photography? The police department has partnered up with camera store Henry’s Photo and camera company Panasonic for a program called “Pixels for Pistols”. Through the end of this month, anyone can trade in their gun for a digital camera.

The program, which is only available to the city’s residents, is pretty straightforward: turn over any working firearm and receive a $240 photo package consisting of a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH8 point-and-shoot camera and a gift card for Henry’s photography lessons.

If you want to participate in the program, you’ll need to follow the instructions: don’t just stroll into the police station or a Henry’s shop with your weapon in tow — that’ll get you into trouble. Instead, you’ll need to call the city’s police to schedule a pickup.

Interestingly enough, jumping into photography through this program is also an “out” for anyone possessing illegal firearms. The organizers state that even illegal weapons that are turned in will be rewarded with a camera without any risk of criminal charges. Be warned, though: if it turns out that your gun is linked to crime, you won’t get your camera and will instead risk being tossed into the slammer.

This isn’t the first time Pixels for Pistols has been held in Canada. The program was actually launched back in 2008 for Toronto residents, and was quite successful — it led to more than 900 guns being surrendered (turns out people do want to shoot pictures instead of bullets). Other cities experienced similar success in subsequent years, and this year its Winnipeg’s turn to reduce violence and increase photography.

Pixels for Pistols [Henry’s via CBCNews]

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sean!

Image credit: Photo illustration based on Pulp Fiction movie still by Miramax Films

  • Jonathan Maniago

    That’s… a pretty interesting idea given that both firearms and cameras have similar or even identical techniques for accurate shooting. The primary difference would be recoil.

  • rtfe

    say what?!

  • A P Photography

    My Uncle owns tens of guns, so I don’t see how those people getting a camera for handing in ONE of their gun collection does anything to help the situation…

  • JD929

    Then any guns believed to possibly have been used in a crime would still be in circulation rather than taken out of the pool. I wonder how much of a dent it makes in crime, Toronto’s program took in 900 guns for a population of 2.6 million people.

  • Fred Nerks

    And of course, all the criminals who have guns will turn them in for a camera. We have the occasional gun program in Delaware, where people get $100 for a gun, even ones that don’t work. And it hasn’t made a bit of difference to the level of gun crime. It seems the libs will never understand that the problem is not with guns but with the people who use them for criminal purposes. Gang members and other criminals won’t be carrying a camera to defend themselves or use in a robbery or murder.

  • Pete M

    Guns in Canada is very different from guns in the US. A large percentage of the population here do not “like” guns and would rather they weren’t generally around, especially hand guns. I do not know what the percentage is, I don’t even know if it is a majority or not. Things are so messed up here that a program to register “long guns” has spent over $2B to implement and it is not even close to being implemented. It’s very controversial.

    The intent of the program is not to get “criminals” to drop off their guns, rather it’s to get guns that are laying around, unused and unwanted, out of circulation. Take the example of the elderly lady whose husband passed away and he was a hunter. Now she has a shot gun and ammunition in the house and none of her grand kids are hunters, so it’s not like she is going to give it to them and she doesn’t want it in the house. Now she can get a camera and take pictures of those same grand kids.

    It also has the long shot consequence of not being available to a kid that is playing and not knowing what they are doing, or a break and enter where the criminal now gets a free gun. Shot gun or hand gun, doesn’t really matter.

    Lastly to my fellow Canadian’s that are constantly whining about the gun problem being the fault of our great southern neighbours: Guess what? We are responsible for our own border, if guns are coming in to Canada illeagaly from the US, that’s our problem to fix, not the US’s.


  • Dikaiosune01

    and when they leave, they’ll be interrogated by some mall security guard, “what are you doing with that camera.” At that moment, they’ll wish they kept that gun for such an occasion… …

  • Neoracer Xox

    LMAO the authorities treat photographers as terrorists

  • John Milleker

    Gang members always shoot their cameras tilted to the right. #PortraitLyfe

  • TSY87

    Good point about those who inherit guns and have no interest in them etc… anyone who purchased a gun LEGALLY, would be a fool to trade it in for a camera that’s probably much less than half the value. And obviously, a criminal is not going to give up the main tool of their trade for a camera.

  • Mick O

    Interesting. Here in the US we’ve been doing the opposite for a while now. Authorities are terrified of an informed populace and have offered automatic weapons to anyone who will give up their SLR. Turning in your Powershot will get you a Taser.

  • EnVassago

    I live in Norway, we have almost the same amount of weapons pr. Citizen as the USA .
    Gun violense is low. Its the US attitude that guns are for self defence that generates all the trouble. Guns are tools for hunters, soldiers and competition shooting. If you do not belong to this group you do not have a gun. If you keep a handgun under your pillow, it a case for a psychiatry and the police. As one previous poster stated, it makes perfect sense that grandmother has a easy way of disposing her guns, and Get a camera in return. Fun fact, you and your family members chance of being a victim of gun related damages increases if you own a gun.

  • Bob Honiker

    Your long gun registry was a failure and is no longer in effect. All records accumulated by the program have now been destroyed. The program had no positive effect on crime prevention. It was just another attempt by government to create the illusion that it was doing something. Don’t you wish you had your money back?

  • Don Lindsay

    I have some cameras that work but i dont need….can I trade them in for some guns or maybe a bullet resistant vest to help protect me from violent behavior the next time my house is raided by abusive cops who fabricate stories?

  • Ben

    The camera will be perfect for taking a picture of that home invader before he kills you.

    Defenseless people, stupid people.