[UPDATE] Bury Guns Not Your Loved Ones: Buyback Program Aims to Impact Gun Violence

Tallahassee, Florida- August 5, 2012

Local law enforcement wants to "Bury a Gun, Not a Loved One."

That's the slogan for a gun buyback event held Saturday at Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee.

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives teamed up with other agencies to host the annual event.

They hope to make the area safer by taking guns off the streets.

"The message is simple, we want to bury the guns and not loved ones. We just want to decrease the violence that we are experiencing, so if we can take one or two guns off the streets, we feel that we have done our job here today," said Captain Audrey Smith with the Tallahassee Police Department.

They were able to get more than just a couple of guns.

44 in total were turned over. Officials host this event every two years.


Tallahassee, Florida- August 3, 2012

Police say more than 30-thousand people nationwide are killed as a result of guns.So law enforcement officers and community leaders are taking what they call, a step in the right direction, to make streets in our area safe.

In response to recent gun violence, all local law enforcement agencies in Tallahassee are teaming up with community leaders to hold a gun buyback. This is an effort to get guns off the streets.Their message is "Bury guns, not your loved ones."

Police say this 22 calibur handgun is one less weapon on the streets of Tallahassee.Someone turned it in to authorities for a gun buyback event. Officers hope to get many more during the official event on Saturday 8-4 at Bethel A.M.E. Church.

Says David Perry, FSU Police Chief:
"If the guns could speak, who knows what type of stories they would tell about what they've done in the past or what they could do in the future. So, we feel like getting one gun off the street is very important."

The North Florida Chapter of NOBLE--The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives--is partnering with area law enforcement agencies and community groups for the buyback to reduce gun crimes. Officers say about 32,000 people nationwide are killed as a result of guns.That's 85 people a day, or three per hour.

Says Captain Audrey Smith with the Tallahassee Police Department:
"It is somewhat disheartening to see that they're happening here in Tallahassee. It just shows that Tallahassee is not a little sleepy community any more. We are growing and so with that we're going to get the influx of crime."

Says Julius McAlister, a Church pastor at Bethel AME:
"It behooves us to make sure that we protect our most precious investment, our children, our men and women, our capital resources, our human resources.

The gun buyback is tomorrow from 10am to 2pm at Bethel A.M.E. Church on Orange Avenue in Tallahassee. It's to be like a drive-thru: You simply drive up and hand over your guns. In exchange you get a gift card ranging from $25 to $50. You will have amnesty, so anyone turning a gun in will not get in trouble.

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