Mayor and Police Chief Launch Anonymous Gun Buy-Back to Help Curb Rise in Violence

06/18/15
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Mayor and Police Chief Launch Anonymous Gun Buy-Back to Help Curb Rise in Violence

City and community leaders are joining hands to help stop gun violence and save lives.  Thanks to a generous donation from the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, the City will host a daylong gun buy-back event aimed at keeping deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.  The program is part of Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Eric Ward’s summer safety initiative to address an increase in crimes involving a firearm. Officers investigated 443 gun-related crimes between January 1, 2015 and June 1, 2015—compared to 320 during the same period last year.

Mayor Buckhorn and Chief Ward are pleading with parents who are concerned their child may have a firearm to use the buy-back as an opportunity to anonymously turn in guns that they find in their child’s possession.  Adult residents who no longer have a need for their gun(s) are also encouraged to take advantage of the law enforcement gun buy-back, which will eliminate the risk of their gun(s) being stolen in the event of a residential burglary.

The June 27th buy-back will be open to anyone within Hillsborough County who wants to turn in a gun with no questions asked.

During the event, citizens can anonymously exchange shotguns, assault rifles and handguns for $50 cash per gun at River Tower Park, located at 401 East Bird Street.  Police officers will be stationed at the site to safely take possession of the firearms from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mobile teams will be available during that time to pickup guns from residents who cannot transport them to the buy-back location.

Citizens who bring guns to the buy-back are reminded to store the unloaded firearm(s) in a plastic bag and place it in the trunk of their car.  They should also follow these firearm safety tips:

  • Treat every firearm as is it were loaded
  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
  • Never handle a gun you are not familiar with
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger unless you intend to fire the weapon