2013 Miami Gun Buyback Program Has Collected Record Number of Weapons, Police Say

“This is the biggest buyback we’ve ever had,” Miami Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "This is the biggest buyback we ve ever had," Miami Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said. James Lilly explained why he turned in a weapon at one of the 2013 events. (Published Monday, Feb 4, 2013)

    The city of Miami’s gun buyback program, now in its fifth year, is bringing in some big guns – in record numbers.

    So far in 2013, the Miami Police Department has been able to get nearly 400 guns off the streets with three successful gun buybacks events.

    AK-47, Sawed-Off Shotgun among Weapons Turned in at 2nd Miami Buyback

    [MI] AK-47, Sawed-Off Shotgun among Weapons Turned in at 2nd Miami Buyback
    The second of three recently scheduled Miami gun buyback events was held at an Overtown church Saturday -- with people turning everything from handguns to shotguns to assault rifles. NBC 6 reporter Donna Rapado has the story. Interviewed are police Sgt. Freddie Cruz, police Chief Manuel Orosa, and participants such as Cecilia Cooper and Ronnie Dumas. (Published Saturday, Jan 26, 2013)

    “This is the biggest buyback we’ve ever had,” Miami Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said. “We joined forces. The community came through, they gave us these weapons, we gave them their certificates, no questions asked.”

    Those who have turned in a weapon got either a Winn-Dixie or Walmart gift card, while those who turned in assault rifles received lower-level tickets to a Miami Heat game in exchange.

    Police Trade Gift Cards for Guns in Miami Buyback Event

    [MI] Police Trade Gift Cards for Guns in Miami Buyback Event
    Miami police traded gift cards for guns in Model City on Saturday, as part of an effort to get assault rifles and other guns off the streets following the Newtown, Conn., shooting. NBC 6 reporter Betty Yu has the story. Miami police Sgt. Freddie Cruz is interviewed. (Published Saturday, Jan 19, 2013)

    James Lilly said he was relieved to drop off a weapon.

    “I can’t use the gun. So I’m a convicted felon. If I get caught, I go to jail automatically,” he said.

    The first gun buyback of the year brought in 130 guns at Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City on Jan. 19. The second brought in 79 firearms at St. John Baptist Church in Overtown on Jan. 26, and 174 weapons were collected at the third event at San Juan Bosco Church in Little Havana this past Saturday.

    “We’re tired of seeing this gun violence in the street. I mean you can see it,” Cruz said. “We’ve had shootings, we’ve had gang rivalry wars on the street, we’ve seen what’s going on in the United States. We have to take proactive measures.”

    Miami Police say their gun buyback program has been so successful that other agencies in South Florida are looking into starting their own. The Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it might try something similar to get illegal guns off of the streets.

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