Gun Buy Back Reduces Gun Violence

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One month after the Tampa Police Department hosted a gun buy back program with local community leaders, the number of crimes committed with a gun dropped 24% in Tampa. The same month in 2010 only experienced an 8% drop in gun crimes. Chief Jane Castor said, "The community can take comfort in knowing the guns we recovered will never be used against an innocent victim. This includes more than two dozen sawed-off shotguns or short barreled rifles that are most often found in the hands of criminals."

12/10/11-1/10/12 - 38 crimes committed with guns - down 24%
12/10/10-1/10/11 - 50 crimes committed with guns - down 8%

Citizens turned in more than 1,000 guns during the day long event. That doubled the department's goal of 500 guns. People were lined up waiting to turn in guns well before the 8:00a.m. start time. The program was funded by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kelly Curtis, the widow of slain Tampa Police officer Dave Curtis and seized drug money. TPD paid $50 for each gun that will now be destroyed.

Laura McElroy