Uruguay has long been one of Latin America’s most progressive countries when it comes to a bevy of issues from gay rights to foreign diplomacy, and its government’s new gun swapping program is lockstep with this country’s agenda. The Uruguayan Interior Ministry launched a “Weapons for Life” program, in which citizens can trade in their guns for computers or bicycles. This country of 3 million citizens is home to half a million guns; according to the Ministry, the goal of this program is to promote responsible gun ownership, a safe disarming of society and to “achieve a more harmonious existence.” The government also claims it will crack down on illegal gun ownership and bolster proper training for weapons owners. It will be interesting to see whether a program to combat violence via an incentive for bicycling will find success.

Cities in the U.S. have rolled out cash for guns programs in the past with mixed results. Would you think such a program outside of Uruguay would work?

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About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.