Gun buyback event to be held Saturday

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In an effort to get guns off the street, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will hold another gun buyback event Saturday, paying $50 for any gun someone turns in.

At the last buyback in June, the Sheriff's Office received more than 500 guns.

"People can bring guns in that they have in their home, maybe they don't want anymore," JSO Director Mike Williams said. "They can bring those guns and we will give them $50 cash for them."

It's not a lot of money for guns, but Williams said it helps when someone just wants to get rid of a gun legally that they don't need.

"One, giving people the ability that have a gun in their home -- say they inherited or whatever and they don't want to be responsible for it -- we give them an avenue to get rid of it, and we will give them $50 for it," Williams said. "The second thing we accomplish, we keep that dialogue going about gun crime and violence in the community."

The buyback will take place at Arlington Baptist Church at 6009 Arlington Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The guns turned in are legal weapons, not those used in crimes. There is another program for that called the gun bounty program.

"Through Crime Stoppers, we take in anonymous tips and we follow those tips up," Williams said. "If we make an arrest and get a gun, you get $1,000."

Since June, JSO said it has had about 50 tips on illegal guns and has arrested four people and confiscated their illegal guns.

The guns collected at the buyback are not sold. They are melted down. That happens about twice a year.

Funding for the event comes from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund and the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

If you are bringing a gun to the buyback event, you're asked to put it in the trunk of your car unloaded.

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