The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is fired up and ready to fire off Operation Gun Swap. This Saturday, deputies will collect hundreds of unwanted firearms.
"We will give you our Tampa Bay fan pack: Two tickets to a Rays game, two tickets to a Lightning game and $75 cash," said Lt. Chad Chronister.
It is a way to let people get rid of the guns they don't want or don't need, simply and easily. This way, they fall into law enforcement's hands, rather than the bad guys.'
"In 2012, we had 147 armed burglaries; in 2011, we had 145. If we can prevent one firearm from falling in the wrong hands, that's an added bonus to our initiative," he said.
This weekend's event was spurred by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Guns will be collected, no questions asked, and eventually destroyed.
In December 2011, the Tampa Police Department held a buy back and collected about 1,000 guns -- everything from pistols to rifles, and even a sawed off-shotgun.
But these gun buybacks may not be all they're cracked up to be. In fact, some say they do very little.
A 2004 study by the National Research Council found buybacks are "badly flawed," in part because criminals aren't the ones turning in the guns, not to mention most that are turned in aren't likely to be used in crimes.
"There have been several evaluations of gun buybacks in several cities. They have not found that the gun buybacks reduce homicide rate or gun violence rate, and I think the best summary of that evidence is no effect," said Dr. Philip Cook, professor of public policy at Duke University.
But deputies say it doesn't hurt, and if one tragedy is averted thanks to Operation Gun Swap, then it's all worth it.
There are five different locations across Hillsborough County buying back guns on Saturday from 9 until 2:
Sheriff's Operations Center
2008 E. 8th Avenue
13501 N. Nebraska Avenue
(site of closed Sunoco gas station)
IGA Grocery Store
14720 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Sheriff's Town 'N Country Substation
7519 W. Waters Avenue
Sheriff's Progress Village Substation
7935 Flower Avenue
Gun swap rules:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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