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GPD to host anonymous gun buyback on Saturday

The Gainesville Police Department will purchase firearms no questions asked this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Residents can anonymously bring their unloaded firearms to Antioch Holiness Church and receive up to $300 in gift cards. Police will purchase up to two firearms per vehicle.

City police have been hosting the buybacks off and on for seven years to make the city safer, said spokesperson Brandon Hatzel.

“It is an amnesty period for those who may have illegal firearms,” Hatzel said. The event allows citizens to turn firearms in “without the fear of prosecution.”

Police ask residents to take the following precautions for the event: Ensure they are unloaded. Place them in a container in the truck of your car. Upon arrival, turn on your hazard lights. Do not handle any firearms.

After the event, firearms will be inventoried by police. If they were stolen, police will try to return them to their correct owners. Then, a third-party company will destroy the remaining firearms.

Hatzel said the event is especially popular for older citizens who want to dispose of firearms that have been sitting in their closets for years.

The spokesperson for the state attorney’s office, Darry Lloyd, has volunteered at previous events. He said they are an important tool for reducing crime. One year, he said he watched a juvenile return a firearm.

“We have to utilize everything possible to make sure are streets are secure,” he said.

Matthew is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.