Police in Venezuela destroyed nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols Wednesday as part of a new national gun control campaign to take firearms off the streets.

"We are going to bring disarmament and peace," Interior Minister Nestor Reverol told Reuters. Law enforcement officers drilled and sawed weapons and used truck-mounted presses to crush some firearms.

Venezuela boasts the second-highest murder rate in the world. National leaders hope their efforts to decrease the number of weapons available to residents will shrink the crime rate and lower gang activity.

But part of the issue in Venezuela is the growing recession and incentive civilians have to join cartels and gangs, which pay more than police make.

The country's gangs have a history of bribing officers for weapons and ammunition. The government said it will also start using laser technology to mark ammunition in an effort to learn where bullets are coming from and track those that strike people.