RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The city of Richmond is planning to launch a gun buyback program this summer.

Mayor Levar Stoney and other city officials are hoping the program will reduce the number of firearms on the street by allowing gun owners to surrender weapons they own in exchange for gift cards.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the City Council on Monday adopted a grant contract with a California-based nonprofit group to administer the program.

Several council members said they were still unsure whether the program can reduce violent crime.

Critics say studies have shown buyback programs do little to reduce gun violence. But others say the buyback program can be one part of an effort to curb gun violence.