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A Times Editorial

Gun buyback makes city safer

Getting guns out of the wrong hands is the first step toward making any community safer. That's why today's gun buyback program by Tampa police is such a promising response to a spate of senseless killings.

Police Chief Jane Castor came up with the plan after holding a community meeting to discuss recent shootings in Ybor City and East Tampa. Five people, aged 16 to 53, have been shot and killed in Tampa since October. The motives varied — a robbery, a slight. But there was a common denominator: a gun in the wrong hands.

Thanks to the generosity of the Tampa Bay Lightning, which donated $12,500, organizers of today's buyback will pay $50 for each gun brought to Seminole Heights Baptist Church. Those selling may do so anonymously; police simply ask that the guns be unloaded. Officers will be on hand to safely take possession of any gun and a mobile team will even be available to those who cannot transport a weapon to the church. The program runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the church, at 801 E. Hillsborough Avenue.

Police in communities across America have taken thousands of guns off the streets through these buyback programs. This is a great way for family members to step forward to protect both their communities and their loved ones.

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Gun buyback makes city safer 12/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011 5:44pm]
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