Trading Guns for Bedroom Fun

A sex shop accepts guns for store credit. Is this a new trend in gun control?

February 9, 2011, 3:31 PM

Feb. 10, 2011 — -- Cash for guns has been tried as a tactic to get weapons off the street.

Sherri Williams, owner of an erotic boutique in Huntsville, Ala., is offering to help customers -- as her program claims-- make love instead of war.

Williams told ABC News that an on-site gun dealer will assess the value of any firearm brought into the store and the gun will be swapped for a gift card which customers can use to buy "every imaginable toy, lubricant, and lingerie."

"We're like the Rodeo Drive version of a romantic boutique," Williams said.

The shop features an intimacy clinic, marriage counselors, relationship coaches, sedate romantic items like wine and roses as well as more adventurous ones like sex toys and adult videos.

Williams is hoping to appeal to gun-owning romantics on a tight budget and would-be criminals with a change of heart.

"If you didn't necessarily have enough money to show someone a romantic evening, perhaps you could find a gun that you're not using and bring that in. Or perhaps you intended to use the gun for malicious reasons and you thought about it and figured you'd have more enjoyment if you turned that gun into a store credit at Pleasures," she said.

So far the store's come-on has brought in seven weapons, what Williams said were "four pistols and three shotgun rifle things."

The swappers were given store credit ranging from $150 to $250, she said, and they promptly went shopping in Pleasures. All of the guns were brought in by men.

"I would have thought that some women would have some guns laying around, but so far it's all men," Williams said.

Once the store has the guns, Williams' husband, who is a licensed gun dealer, will run the serial numbers to check whether it has been used in a crime. Those guns will be turned over to the police.

The other guns will be refurbished, then auctioned off to gun collectors. If there are any profits in the process, that money will be donated to help victims of gun violence in Alabama.

Guns Swapped For Sex Toys at Pleasures Erotic Boutique

"We're trying to take guns out of the hands of people who may do harm with them and sell those guns to benefit the people who have been harmed by them," Williams said.

Williams is aiming for at least 300 guns and says there's no limit to what customers can earn, though she joked that if a customer gets a $5,000 credit, she hopes they won't spend it all at once.

Before launching the project, Williams said she talked with the police chief to make sure that they wouldn't be violating any gun laws. After receiving assurances that the program was legal, the police also agreed to run the guns' serial numbers, she said.

Williams says she got the idea for the swap after watching coverage of the tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., where a gunman opened fire at a Safeway, killing six people and injuring 14 others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

"I got to thinking, 'What can I do?'" she said. "Being in business for 17 years, I've been successful. And you finally get to a point in your life where you go, the only thing that would make me happy now is just to help other people."

So far, she says all the feedback she's gotten has been positive.

"I've got gotten fan mail from all over the world," she said, "It's been an outpouring of very, very good support."