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Over 1,300 Guns Collected in FL Sheriff's Buyback Event

Over 1,300 Guns Collected in FL Sheriff's  Buyback Event

Source: Associated Press

The Orlando Sentinal via YellowBrix

August 22, 2010

TAVARES, FL — Money pried a 22-caliber gun from Jim Carlton’s hands.

“Like everybody else, I can use an extra $50,” said Carlton, 63, a music writer and guitarist in Mount Dora, who was among more than 180 people who took part Friday in the first-ever “Kicks-4-Guns” program in Lake County.

His never-been-fired handgun had collected dust in a closet for about 40 years until he read about the one-day event, during which anyone in possession of a firearm could trade it anonymously for a $50 gift card.

Sheriff’s Lt. Art Newcombe said firearm traders included people who had inherited rifles, stumbled across an unwanted pistol in a closet or decided they could make better use of $50 than their dusty old gun.

“It’s about making the community safer,” Newcombe said.

Deputies from the sheriff’s Street Crimes Unit handed out more than $9,000 in gift cards during the 12-hour event at Hickory Point Recreational Facility, collecting more than 200 firearms, including six sawed-off shotguns.

“Those are used for nothing but no good,” Capt. Todd Luce said.

Sheriff Gary Borders called the event a success. Gift cards were purchased with money forfeited by drug dealers.

Deputies arranged a “drive-through” lane for gun traders at the Tavares park, where participants pulled up, gave up a gun, got a gift card and drove away. No ID was collected, no questions were asked. Trades took less than 30 seconds.

Gun traders didn’t get out of their vehicles.

To lessen the chance of an accident, deputies removed all firearms from the vehicles, checked each for ammunition and ran the serial numbers through a crime database to see if the gun was stolen or linked to a crime.

Law-enforcement agencies throughout Central Florida participated in similar events at other locations.

The annual program in Central Florida, created 12 years ago by radio personality Russ Rollins, host of “Monsters in the Morning” on 104.1 FM (WTKS), was a push to curb youth violence by offering sneakers for guns.

Gift cards to Target and Walmart have replaced shoes as trade currency in most locations.

Though some of the traded guns appeared to be old and inoperable, Barb Bergin, executive director of Crimeline, which assisted organizers of the annual event, said the firearm’s condition doesn’t matter much.

“If you’re working at the 7-Eleven, are your first thoughts going to be about whether the gun will fire when someone comes in and points it at you? We consider every gun [to be] dangerous and operable,” Bergin said.

She said the no-questions-asked program offers gun owners, both legal and illegal, an incentive and opportunity to dispose of firearms they don’t need, use or want — and lessens the chance a gun will be used in a crime.

“It’s not about disarming America,” she said. “This is about getting rid of unwanted guns.”

  • Car6_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    If they don't use their weapons, have ammunition for them or need them. It's safer to get them turned in then allow them to sit for someone to find or steal. That doesn't mean that people that use them for protection should get rid of them. Seems to be a lot of criticism against the department for taking the guns in. I think it was a good idea, didn't disarm any citizen that would use it for their protection, just from the ones that would probably not use them.

  • M_a6d52838fcaf76871a3f162b66e0b424_max600_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Community: 0 Criminals: 200 I will keep my firearms,, thank you very much.

  • Washington_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    ugh, make me sick. A 40 year old gun in UNFIRED condition?? That sounds like a gem and it's going to be melted into a dang manhole cover. If people are giving away guns like that for a $50 gift card, I guess they don't deserve the $2000 they could have got by selling it.

    I can't bear the thought of my collection going to someone when I die and them turning around and taking a few $50 gift cards...guns are like works of art, appreciate them or sell them to someone who can.

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Did the bad guys turn in their guns?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    Good program in my opinion. Alot of the curbside robberies we deal with are done with piece of crap guns that some idiot found in his grandma's closet that she even forgot was there. I have a cousin that was robbed by two 16 year olds armed with a .22 rifle that they found in a relatives attic. It wasnt loaded and they told the arresting officers they thought it was an AK 47. So if this gun drive stops just a few roadside robberies I think it's worth it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    Recall the sheriff anybody?

  • Ford_motor_company__security___fire_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    a man with out a gun is a victim ! ! ! !

  • Dscn2014_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    no ID or file checks, sounds like a good way to ditch a gun after committing a crime and get paid for it

  • Radio2_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    I noticed that too GTS197..

  • Blade_runner_4_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    $9,000.00 of taxpayers dollars were spent to take a bunch of rusty shotguns from law abiding citizens in an effort to make the community a safer place to live...I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.

    There's a gun store in my community that pays far market value for used guns. Most people who sell to him are the same type of people shown in this event. Only this store is helping the economy while accomplishing the same goal.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Here is Alaska we don't have much crime. One main reason is EVERYONE here owns guns. Big guns at that. My question is what are they doing with the guns that they bought? I hate to see good firearms go to waste!!!!!

  • Aaa_max50


    about 4 years ago


    This is an example of wasted money. The people turning in theses guns are not the ones that are using guns to terrorize their communities.

  • Bmg_logo_100x100_max50


    about 4 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    only the people that turned in their guns were law abiding citizens. so now crooks know where to rob, now that this community is unarmed.....when ur gettin robbed your gonna wish you handnt turned in that weapon..just my opinion

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