MANATEE — In an effort to curtail gang involvement and get guns off the streets, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office will host a gun buy back Saturday.
Residents will be asked to bring working firearms in exchange for a pre-paid credit cards for each gun.
“Obviously we’re not doing it for criminals to get rid of their guns. We don’t think criminals want to get rid of their guns,” said Manatee County Sheriff Public Information Officer Dave Bristow. “A lot of our crimes are taking place with stolen guns. This is a way to deter that in the future.”
The buy backs are taking place throughout the state as a part of an anti-crime initiative being implemented through the Florida Attorney General’s Gang Reduction Strategy.
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The strategy was released last year in a 79-page initiative scheduled to last through 2012.
The document encourages gun buy backs as a way to keep juveniles from getting access to guns.
“(A gun) could be turned in by someone who kept it in their home for years and years and years. That is not a criminal that has that gun, but a criminal could break into that house and take that gun,” Bristow said. The sheriff’s office gun buy back will take place in Oneco — a location of high crime, Bristow said.
“We’ll see how this one does. We plan on doing more,” he said.
Bradenton Police Department held a gun buy back May 9 and received nine guns in exchange for Beall’s gift cards.
“It’s been debatable whether (buy backs) do any good, but if you take any guns off the street that could potentially be used to do a crime,” it could keep them from falling into the wrong hands, Bristow said.
Assault weapons will be redeemed for $100 each and rifles, shotguns and handguns can be turned in for $50 each, according to a released statement.
No questions will be asked of the person turning in the gun. Money given to residents will be funded from the asset and forfeiture fund.
The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Sheriff’s Office District 2 location, 407 57th Ave. E.