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Clearwater Police Net 458 Guns at Buyback Event

Gun Buyback | Cleearwater Police | Gun Trade-In

The guns were traded for Walmart gift cards.

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Police Department’s gun buyback event took in 458 unwanted weapons today in exchange for $37,850 in gift cards.

About 70 percent of the weapons voluntarily turned in during the five-hour event were long guns such as rifles and shotguns.

“We are extremely pleased with the numbers from today’s events,” Clearwater police Chief Dan Slaughter said. “The people of Clearwater obviously had a need for this kind of program where they could safely dispose of their unwanted weapons. We were more than happy to provide them a venue for that and to give them a holiday gift in return.”

Even before the event began, cars were lined up by the dozens at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, 2450 Drew St., the site of the event. Handgun owners received a $50 Walmart  gift card, while long gun owners got a $100 Walmart gift card.

The guns will be turned over to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for proper disposal. Serial numbers will be checked before that to see if any werestolen. If they are found to be stolen, an attempt will be made to locate the owner.

The last buyback event, in 2011, collected nearly 200 guns.

Here are some facts from today’s (Dec. 12) buyback:

  • Cars began lining up 30 minutes before the event, which started at 9 a.m.
  • 85 guns were collected in the first hour; 129 in the first 90 minutes.
  • $10,000 in gift cards was handed out in the first 90 minutes.
  • One man turned in six guns and declined to accept any gift cards. He left $450 in gift cards on the table.
  • Some people tried to turn in homemade guns put together in a crude fashion
    with wood and duct tape. Those did not earn gift cards, nor did BB or pellet guns.
  • One man turned in a “potato gun.”

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Photo courtesy of the Clearwater Police Department.

Clearwater Police | Gun Buyback | Walmart | Dan Slaughter | TB Reporter

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