174 weapons collected at Little Havana gun buyback event

Published On: Feb 02 2013 11:32:44 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 02 2013 02:20:00 PM EST
MIAMI -

A spokesperson for the Miami Police Department said a record number of weapons were collected during Round III of the city's 2013 gun buyback campaign. On Saturday, people were able to drop off their firearms with no questions asked and receive gift certificates or other incentives in exchange.

Police officers and city officials were given 174 guns at the Saint John Bosco Catholic Church at 1301 West Flagler Street in Little Havana. Though it was the third gun buyback event in just three weeks, dozens of people were already lined up before the event even started.

The city offered similar buyback events in Overtown and Liberty City earlier this year. According to Sargent Freddie Cruz of the Miami Police Department, 209 weapons were collected at those two events.

"I've had people turning in weapons to me personally," Cruz told Local 10's Tamika Bickham. "Some people didn't want to be identified but they've heard what we've done and they want to cooperate. They want to get guns off the street so they don't fall into the hands of criminals or young kids who don't know what to do with them."

Cruz added that city officials of tired of seeing gun violence out on the street and want to make every effort to curb it. "We're joining together, with the community, with the mayor's office, one big operation where we get these guns off the street."

People do not need to give officials their names or how they got the weapons when they turn them over. In exchange, they will be given gift cards to stores like Winn Dixie and Target.

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