Hillsborough County

Guns for cash: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office hosting gun swap

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is holding a gun buyback event on Saturday in an effort to get more guns off the streets.

The swap will allow Tampa Bay residents with old, unused or unwanted guns to surrender weapons anonymously in exchange for $50 in cash and a pair of tickets to see the Tampa Bay Rays play next season.

The exchange is being held, rain or shine, at the following locations on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m:
•    Falkenburg Road Jail  ( 520 N Falkenburg Rd in Tampa)
•    Hillsborough County West Service Unit (9805 Sheldon Rd in Tampa)

The exchange will be set up in a drive-through configuration. Residents should remain inside of their vehicles. A deputy will approach your vehicle, take the gun and hand you an envelope with cash.
The event is anonymous, therefore no ID is required. 

“As the sheriff, you are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys. This is just another way of doing that. For those 240, on average the last five years, firearms that have been stolen from car burglaries, maybe if they would have turned over that firearm it wouldn't have been in the hands of a bad guy that used it to perpetuate a crime,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

The agency plans to destroy all guns collected. Only unloaded firearms will be accepted. Other items, such as BB guns will not. 

"Our last Gun Swap was in 2013. Your response was amazing, and with more than 2,500 firearms exchanged, it still stands as one of the nation's most successful swap for cash events," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

The agency said deputies distributed $55,000 in cash within an hour into the event.

"Please take advantage of this great program to properly dispose of that unwanted handgun or long gun. Eliminate the chance that firearm is lost or stolen and ends up in the wrong hands. Put it in our hands and get some money to boot!" Sheriff Chronister said.  

Many of you have been asking 8 On Your Side how this event is paid for, and we took that question to the sheriff.

“This is money that comes from when we have a search warrant and recover drug money now we are using it for this. I think that is the best part it doesn't cost the taxpayer anything,” Sheriff Chronister said.

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