Jacksonville police buy hundreds of guns from public

By Chris Parenteau, General assignment reporter, cparenteau@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 10 2014 04:26:22 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 11 2014 10:10:00 PM EST

Organizers say they collected over 800 guns today.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was buying back guns Saturday -- the goal to make sure that people who don't want the guns will have a safe way to get rid of them.

Saturday's event was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Evangel Temple Assembly of God on Ramona Boulevard.

Over 200 guns were turned in in the first hour, with the JSO paing $50 in cash for each one.

The Sheriff's Office says events like this give people an anonymous way to get rid of guns to make sure they don't end up in the wrong hands.

IMAGES: Gun buyback a success

"Our concern with that is that gun gets unaccounted for," said JSO Director Mike Williams. "It gets left in a trunk, gets left in a closet or a garage, and eventually is lost or stolen, and then it does become a crime gun. So that is an issue for us. So for $50 they don't have to entertain buyers, they don't have put out a for sale sign-type thing."

JSO Director Michael Williams says this program has been a great way for people to voluntarily be safer with those guns . He also says that along with the guns, if you have any unwanted ammunition, you can bring that too. 

"We have an ongoing dialogue about gun violence in our community," Williams said. "We have a violence issue in Jacksonville. This is just one more topic to get that conversation going and to keep it going in our community."

The Sheriff's Office also operates a separate gun program called the gun bounty program. That offers a $1,000 reward for information that gets an illegal gun off the streets.

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