Tampa Police Partner with Community to Launch Gun Buy-Back Program in Light of Recent Gun ViolenceTampa Bay Lightning partner with TPD to fund the program

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On December 10th citizens can exchange their shotguns, assault rifles and handguns for $50 cash at the Seminole Heights Baptist Church in Tampa.
Chief Jane Castor announces the December 10th gun buy-back with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke and the family members of homicide victims.

DATE/TIME: 12/6/2011 at 10:30 a.m.

LOCATION: TPD District 3 Headquarters, 3808 North 22nd Street, Tampa

WHO: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Chief Jane Castor, Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke, and Mary Reynolds, grandmother of 16-year-old homicide victim, Jamarie Hodges.

WHAT: Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Jane Castor will announce plans to host a gun buy-back program with the families of recent homicide victims and citizens of East Tampa. They will also thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for contributing $12,500 for the program.

DETAILS: City and community leaders are joining hands to help stop gun violence and save lives. “Save Our Sons, Turn in Your Guns,” is a day long gun buy-back event aimed at keeping deadly weapons out of criminal hands. Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Jane Castor are launching the program to address the series of homicides and aggravated assaults that were recently committed in the East Tampa community. However, the December 10th gun buy-back will be open to anyone who wants to turn in a gun.

During the event, citizens can anonymously exchange shotguns, assault rifles and handguns for $50 cash per gun at the Seminole Heights Baptist Church, located at 801 East Hillsborough Avenue near I-275. Police officers will be stationed at the church to safely take possession of the firearms from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mobile teams will be available during that time to pickup guns from citizens who cannot transport them to the church.

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

Janelle McGregor
Public Information Office