Thursday, August 22, 2013

Police Gun Buyback Around Brevard County Today

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida --The Palm Bay Police Department,  Cocoa Police Department and the Titusville Police Department will host the annual “Kicks for Guns campaign on Thursday, August 22, 2013 from 7 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  

“Kicks for Guns” is a completely anonymous program that allows area residents to trade in unloaded firearms in exchange for a $50 fuel or food gift card with no questions asked.  In Palm Bay, the event will be located at Space Coast Harley, 1440 Sportsman Lane.   Pellet guns and air guns earn a restaurant coupon and there is a maximum of three gift cards per vehicle while supplies last. 

“The idea is to remove unwanted guns from the community that can potentially become the target of thieves,  said Sgt. Ron Lugo.  “If we can prevent gun crimes from occurring by removing targets of opportunity, that’s a win for everyone." 

Last year Palm Bay officers collected 133 firearms including mostly shotguns, rifles, semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.  Ten of those firearms were illegal to possess.

In Cocoa, the buyback will be held in the east side of the parking lot at Byrd Plaza located at 801 Dixon Boulevard, Cocoa.  Citizens will receive a $50 gift card (maximum 2 per car) while supplies last.  Person turning in “BB” and/or pellet guns will receive restaurant coupons.  Last year Cocoa recovered more than 230 guns, all have since been destroyed. The gift cards were purchased using forfeiture funds, which is money seized from criminals as a result of their suspected illegal activities.

This will be the first year the Titusville Police Department participates in the program.  Residents in the city of Titusville can turn in unwanted firearms in the Sears Town Mall Parking lot (east side) located at 3550 S. Washington Avenue, Titusville.

The Palm Bay Police Department, Cocoa Police Department and Titusville Police Departments are the only law enforcement agencies in Brevard County participating in this year's program.  “Kicks for Guns “ is in its 13th year.  Originally guns were traded in for new shoes at a single location.  Due to changing economic conditions the program shifted to gift cards.

Anyone wishing to turn in firearms should make sure the weapons are safely unloaded and properly secured in the vehicle when arriving at the venue entrance.  Officers and Police Department personnel will retrieve all weapons and provide a ticket in order to enter the venue to obtain the gift card.  For more information contact the Public Information Office at 321-426-5194 (Palm Bay PD) or Officer Barbara Matthews, Cocoa PD 321-637-6309.

The event is sponsored as a partnership among the Palm Bay Police Department, the Cocoa Police Department, the Titusville Police Department, the Central Florida CRIMELINE, KISS 95.1 FM Clearchannel Radio,  Real Radio 104.1, Monsters of the Morning, 102 Jamz, Papa John's Pizza, Chick fil-A, Burger King and McDonald's.