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JSO sponsoring controversial gun buyback

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Updated: 6/20/2013 6:48 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You've likely heard of gun shows where folks show up to purchase firearms.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is doing the opposite. They're sponsoring a gun buyback. Folks show up with their guns and cops will hand them money.

"There's lots of controversy around buybacks," said JSO Director Mike Williams.

For the first time in JSO history, the agency is sponsoring the event. Officers will hand people $50 cash, no questions asked, for any firearm handed over.

"We've done as many as 200 at one of these in the past, 200 in a day," Williams said.

Former FBI agent Dale Carson is in favor of the gun buyback program. He said buybacks solve several big problems.

"We're concerned about two things: bad people having guns and children getting a hold of guns," Carson said.

But he told Action News it likely won't be the criminals handing over their weapons.

"It is people who have found a gun in the house, in stuff they had inherited from an uncle, someone's died, left this handgun around the house or an old rifle, something of that nature. Those are the people who turn them in," he said.

JSO said the intention isn't necessarily to get the firearms out of criminal hands, rather prevent them from being stolen down the line. They'll research the history of every gun turned in.

"We're going to check to make sure they're not stolen so we can at least get those back where they need to be or put them with the right case. Other than that, most of the guns we get will be destroyed," Williams said.

The gun buyback happens Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on West Duval Street.

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