Check Out the Gun Buyback Program and Event by Alina Lopez

Do you have a firearm that you want to get rid of? Inherited a gun and want to get it off your hands but don’t know how? There’s a program for that. On February 28, 2021 from 9:00 AM to Noon, Miami Dade Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the North Miami Police Department, along with other local law enforcement agencies, will be hosting a Safer Communities Gun Buyback event at Ronald Book Athletic Stadium located at 2555 NE 151 St in North Miami. The firearms to be surrendered need to be unloaded and in the trunk of the car. 

The gun buyback program has been around nationwide since the late 60’s, with the objective to reduce the number of firearms sold on the street and keep our communities safe from gun violence. The overall goal is to aim to reduce the number of gun deaths and injuries. Suicide is the leading cause of gun deaths and unintentional gun injuries result in thousands of emergency room visits a year. Children being the most vulnerable to accidentally discharge a weapon and injuring themselves. The event provides access whereby citizens can turn in their privately owned firearms to local authorities without any risk of prosecution and receiving some kind of compensation for their guns, usually in the form of gift cards or more commonly now, laptops. It’s also a means to eliminate illegal guns from the streets. There are no restrictions on the type of firearms handed over or their condition and there’s no limit on the amount of guns you want to hand over. It’s basically a straightforward, effective, and easy way to dispose of unwanted guns. They are usually destroyed, most typically by melting them, and the scrap metal is recovered for other uses. 

With 2020 registering as one of America’s most violent years, killing 41,000 Americans, it also was a record breaking year when it came to Americans buying firearms. Fear among experts predict this trend will continue in 2021. According to the Small Arms Survey, a research project from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, there are about 121 firearms for every 100 US civilians. The US accounts for nearly 46% of all civilian held firearms in the world. Each year in the US, approximately 500,000 guns are stolen from homes where they were not properly stored and nearly 50% of guns used in a commission of a crime have been stolen from law abiding citizens or otherwise illegally obtained. 

In past gun buyback events, most firearm returns were for safety reasons in which a person felt they no longer needed or wanted the weapon. Many also turned in guns because of concerns that they were accessible to children in the household. 

Homes that still have firearms present are encourage to continue practicing gun safety techniques, such as proper gun storage and gun safety education. 

For more information on this gun buyback event, contact our office at 305-470-1670.

Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and stay safe! 

Written by: Alina Lopez

Citizen’s Crime Watch of Miami-Dade

Citizens’ Crime Watch is a nonprofit county-wide crime prevention program funded by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, grants and donations.