When the City of Tampa offered to buy unwanted guns in 2011, people responded. Organizers rounded up a thousand weapons. So Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin Beckner called for a regularly scheduled buy-backs on a county level.
"So that people who wish to dispose of firearms have a clear, consistent and convenient process for doing so," Beckner said.
It may not prevent another mass shooting, or deter a determined killer. But the idea is to reduce gun violence over time, by reducing the community's supply of guns.
The majority of commissioners, though, said they could not buy into it.
"Criminals aren't going to turn these guns in," said Commissioner Sandra Murman.
"I don't think it's going to work. I think dollars are going to be wasted doing that," said Commissioner Les Miller.
Beckner withdrew his buy-back proposal. But the county commissioners embraced his second proposal of creating a task force to help find the answers. In this respect, the commission is taking the same course as Washington. Vice President Joe Biden is currently leading a gun violence task force on a federal level, which is expected to release policy proposals by the end of this month.
Hillsborough commissioners expect their new task force to include law enforcement, educators, and health professionals, and others in the community. They also expect it cover a lot of ground, including ways to address mental illness.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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