Officials in Manatee County are calling Saturday's ‘Gun Buy Back' operation a success.
A total of 459 firearms, including five assault rifles, were collected at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office facility in Bradenton. The event lasted eight hours and in exchange for the weapons deputies handed out $37,950 in cash.
Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube says it was money well spent.
"We get these guns off the street which means they won't be out there involved in crimes," Steube explained.
Earlier in the week MCSO issued a press release offering to pay between $50 and $150 for unwanted, working firearms.
Manatee County resident Randy McLaughlin had an old shotgun that once belonged to his dad lying around. It hadn't been used in a few years so he decided to get rid of it.
"I fired it once but not in years," McLaughlin said. "It's a good, square deal, I got a $100 bucks for it and it's off the streets."
All the weapons collected on Saturday will be destroyed.
MCSO Captain Violet Duey was on hand at the Department's Crime Prevention office on U.S. Blvd 301 West to assist in collecting the guns.
"Early on we had a pretty heavy stream of folks coming by," Captain Duey said. "That last time we did one of these was in 2009 so we figured it was time to do another."
No questions were asked of those who disposed of their firearms. The money paid out was seized during drug arrests.
By 3 p.m. officials had run out of money and had to retrieve more to accommodate citizens brining in weapons.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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