Police will pay $50 for any gun, no questions asked, at a gun buyback event on Saturday, June 29.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is running the program, which is funded by the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The same two organizations also sponsor the reinvigorated gun bounty program, which provides $1,000 for any illegal gun taken off the street if an arrest is made. Both programs promise anonymity.
To give a tip about an illegal gun, call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. To turn in any unwanted firearm, transport it in the trunk of your car to the Maceo Elks Lodge, 712 West Duval Street. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 29.
"The theft of a firearm creates a threat to public safety, as they often fall into the hands of the criminals who cannot legally possess a gun. They obtain them illegally and use them in criminal act," according to Lauri-Ellen Smith, of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "The gun buyback provides a safe way for law abiding citizens to turn in any gun they don’t want to be responsible for anymore."
But the gun-rights group Florida Carry says gun buyback programs are a waste and don't stop violence.
"Less than 1 percent of guns are used in crimes. Second, most of the guns sold in these buyback are non-functional," said Eric Friday, lead counsel for Florida Carry. "The other majority of the guns are grandpa's guns that were left to the widow who doesn't want it around the house."