So. Fla. officials work to get guns off streets
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- South Florida officials hoping to make a difference with an exchange of gifts for guns in an effort to keep weapons off the street.
The push to make South Florida streets safer triggered action on Miami Beach. "We take one gun off of the streets, one less left on the streets," said Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Miami Beach Police set up shop at the Miami Beach Convention Center. People turned in their firearms, and in return, they left with some plastic. Depending on the type of gun returned, people received gift cards with a value of up to $300 at the event.
"The gun is received," said Hernandez. "We make it safe, which is behind me. After that, they are given a card, which they validate inside, and they're given the gift certificate."
A revolver gets $25 while an assault rifle will get the returner $300. "Too many people, you know," said Floid Henson, "too many guns. There are people with hundreds of guns in their house."
The types of guns turned-in included shotguns, a .22 rifle, and lots of revolvers and pistols.
Gun buyback events are a common site in South Florida. The City of Miami Police Department took in 384 guns during three efforts earlier this year. Police said the firepower haul is a good thing. "I believe any time we are able to get a weapon off of the street," said Miami Beach Police Sgt. Daniel Morgalo, "whether it's a criminal or regular citizen turning it in, it's one less gun that's out there."
"If you get that gun out of your house," said Hernandez, " there is no possible way the child can get a hold of the gun and shoot himself or somebody else."
Some argue that it is not actually attracting criminals who are packing heat. "They're not gonna bring their guns in," said Henson. "They need 'em. We don't need 'em, but they do."
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