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Cash For Guns Event Saturday In Hillsborough County

Rod Waddington via Flickr

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is holding a gun swap for people who want to get rid of unloaded and unwanted guns. In exchange, the donors get $50 cash and Tampa Bay Rays tickets.

This will be the first buyback event in five years, said Chad Chronister, Hillsborough County Sheriff.

“The last one we did back in 2013, we got over 2,500 unwanted guns off the street. As a sheriff you’re responsible for keeping firearms out of the wrong hands and this is just another avenue to do that,” he said.

People wanting to participate don’t need to provide legal identification, making the buyback completely anonymous. Donors drive up, an officer walks over to the vehicle and that’s where the unloaded weapon is exchanged.

“There’s no question asked. It’s totally anonymous,” Chronister said. “You get your $50 per firearm, you get your voucher for some Rays tickets and off you go enjoying your day.”

The donated guns will then be destroyed.

Hillsborough County residents aren’t the only ones who can participate. Chronister says the idea is to get unwanted guns off the streets no matter where the donor or the gun comes from.

“The main goal is to offer our community a safe way to dispose of an unwanted firearm,” he said.

The buyback simplifies the traditional process for donations, which involves a deputy receiving a firearm from an individual, filing paperwork and running the information about the gun through criminal databases.

This weekend’s anonymous swap is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will take place at two different locations in Tampa: the Hillsborough County West Service Unit, 9805 Sheldon Road, and at the Falkenburg Road Jail, 520 N Falkenburg Road.

Jeslyn Santiago is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for fall 2018.
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