Swap Your Gun for Cash and Rays Tickets
The gun swap program, sponsored by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, is designed to get guns off the street.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is helping residents get rid of old, unused, or unwanted guns in their possession through its 2018 “Gun Swap” event scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 6).
The idea behind a gun swap is simple: Turn in a gun and get money back. But the Hillsborough event has an added perk. People who turn in guns will get both money and tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays game in return.
The Rays have donated 5,000 tickets to the cause so that every person who turns in an unwanted gun will now get $50 and one voucher for a pair of Tampa Bay Rays tickets. Cash and tickets will be available only while supplies last. Only one Rays voucher per participant.
“If we help save one life or keep one gun from falling into the wrong hands this weekend, that would be a home run. I could not be more thrilled the Rays have jumped in to help us with that effort,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “This is about unwanted guns that people don’t want to be responsible for anymore. It is about taking away the opportunity for a child to accidentally find that gun. With these tickets and the financial incentive we are offering, I know we will make a big impact.”
Chronister added, “This is about responsible gun ownership. On average, 240 guns were taken in car burglaries last year. As a sheriff, I am responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys and this is just one more way of accomplishing that.”
Guns can be exchanged at two locations from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday – the Falkenburg Road Jail, 520 N Falkenburg Road in Tampa and the Hillsborough County West Service Unit, 9805 Sheldon Road in Tampa.
The Gun Swap will be a drive-through service. Residents will remain in their vehicles. A deputy will approach the vehicle, take the gun and hand the resident an envelope with cash and a voucher. No ID is needed. This is an anonymous event. Deputies are only accepting unloaded firearms. Other items, such as BB guns, will not be accepted. Collected guns will be destroyed.
“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,” Chronister said.
On Feb. 2, 2013, deputies collected 2,541 firearms, including at least 11 stolen guns and hundreds of illegal weapons. At every one of the five locations, there were lines of cars to get into the event. 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,” Chronister said. “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.”
Hillsborough Sheriff | Chad Chronister | Gun Swap | Events | Tampabay News
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