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Rides for weapons: Company offers free prom car rentals to students who give up guns

A Miami Gardens business owner is offering free prom night car rentals to teenagers who turn in their guns. The owner said he's trying to get guns off the streets. (Image source: WFOR-TV video screenshot)

A Miami Gardens business owner is trying to get guns off the streets, so he's offering free prom night car rentals to high school students who give up their guns, WFOR-TV reported.

"I'm just trying to get [guns] off the street, no matter what," said Rashawn Welch, owner of 305 Elite, a luxury rental business.

The program is a collaboration with the Miami Gardens Police Department, which takes possession of the weapons. Those who turn in guns will remain anonymous.

Why is he doing this?

Welch, who now a gun control activist as well as a business owner, spent five years in prison. Now, when he sees young people he rents cars to caught up in criminal activity, it concerns him, he said.

"The same kids I was renting cars to were getting caught up [in crime]," Welch told CNN.

Welch said he hopes that his cars-for-weapons program will be more of an incentive for students than other gun buyback programs.

"Why would I turn in a gun for a $200 gift card at Target when I could sell it on the street for $500?" Welch said. "It doesn't make sense.

"You turn in a gun, no questions asked," Welch said. "We're not asking you for a background check, not writing down a tag number. We're going to turn around and give you a chauffeured car to prom. It's all about trying to uplift these young men and women who are turning in these guns."

How has the community responded?

Welch told WFOR he was surprised by the types of guns teenagers have turned into him.

"We've seen a couple AR-15s," Welch said. "I don't even know the name of the guns. All I know is they look like some killing machines."

Moises Farji, the owner of a local shoe store, was inspired by the program to do something similar with shoes.

"It's crazy as you can see in these streets, everybody killing each other, people are killing people for shoes, so if I can help, why not?" Farji said.

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