THE BRONX - Six Bronx churches hosted gun buyback events Saturday, encouraging residents to drop off firearms in exchange for money.

Police say the buyback program is the first of its kind in the Bronx, but has been successful in other boroughs. Residents who turned over weapons received a $200 debit card for each gun. The Holy Cross Church in Soundview and the Immaculate Conception Church in Melrose were two churches participating.

The program is strictly anonymous and participating churches do not ask questions about the legality of the weapons.

Gloria Cruz, of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, says some people were motivated by the recession to turn over their guns. Cruz, whose niece was killed by a gunshot, says the program saves lives by taking guns off the streets.