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Hundreds of firearms turned in at JSO gun buyback event

366 firearms turned in at event held Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of people were given a chance to turn in old guns and take home some cash during the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office gun buyback event.

"I needed gas money and something to buy food with," one person who participated in the event said.

For Johnny Mack it was about trading something old for something new.

"My grandfather left an old gun hanging around and I just wanted to turn it back. I don't want it," Mack said.

After officers inspected it, Mack walked inside Evangel Temple Assembly of God and walked out with $50 cash.

"Hey, I could go buy something else. That's about it," said Mack.

Mack's gun is one of hundreds JSO collected in the effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands and make the community a little safer. A total of 366 guns were turned in at Saturday's event.

"I think it's pretty good for the public, you know, to get off the streets. It's pretty good," said Mack.

From handguns to rifles, JSO accepts all kinds of firearms and ammunition -- no questions asked.

People dropping off guns aren't the only ones to benefit from the deal. For every gun brought in the Delores Barr Weaver Fund donates $50 to the Police Athletic League.

JSO has been organizing the program for years and said the benefits go beyond the guns collected.

"Number one, it can keep the discussion alive about gun violence in the community and number two, it gives people an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted firearms in their home that may have been left behind by others," said Chief Ron Lendvay. "They may have children around, they may have visitors at their home and they're just not comfortable having a firearm they can get rid of it safely and securely and take in $50."

JSO eventually destroys the weapons. The firearms are first checked to find out any were stolen. Those will be returned to their rightful owners.

Anyone who may have missed the event can request an officer with JSO come to their home to safely remove a firearm.