Going through the attic, you notice an old box in the back of the dark space. You reach in and find a few old guns. You don’t have any use for them and you are not really sure what to do with them so you call the local authorities for advice. If you were in Sarasota, Florida, you would be pleasantly surprised at the response on the other end of the phone. They were welcoming, provided instructions on where to drop off the weapons, and in fact, they even offered you cash for the weapons. In Sarasota, the Sheriff’s department is taking steps to remove unwanted firearms from the streets, with a gun buyback program.
The nuts and bolts of the program.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s office is now accepting guns in return for cash. Last year, over 232 guns were reported stolen. In order to combat the problem, the Sarasota Sheriff’s office is making it easier for residents to give away their unwanted firearms. Local supporters hope to see the buy back program make a change. According to Major Paul Richard, found property, among other things, provided some extra funds for the department, allowing them to fund the buy back program. As an added incentive, the Office is offering $50 for every returned firearm.
Some local residents had guns they were afraid to shoot and they just wanted to get rid of these dangerous weapons. Bruce Burkhart, a program participant, didn’t want anyone to get hurt, so he decided the Sheriff’s office was the best place for them. Deputies removed rifles, handguns and one sawed off shotgun, around 70 in all. Citizens turning in their weapons keeps them off the streets and out of the hands of criminals who may want to use them for nefarious activity. Commissioner Carolyn J. Mason is a huge fan of the program, publicly showing support for the program. Sheriff’s are accepting guns at two locations, one in Newton and the other in the parking lot of Robarts Arena, the home of the local state fair.
The Office’s property office is spearheading the program; as part of the Sheriff’s “anti-violence initiative” the program is an opportunity for citizens to actively participate in making the city safer. These returned firearms give the community a peace of mind in the wake of national travesty and controversy surrounding firearms. Local Pastors don’t know how much of a change the program will make; but all agree, any positive impact is a good thing. If you missed the event, don’t worry, give the sheriff’s department’s non-emergency number a call and they will send a deputy to pick up and dispose of the weapon.
A comment on Florida gun laws.
Florida allows its residents to conceal and carry guns and firearms, with a valid permit, however, you are not allowed to openly carry a gun in public. Short of long guns or machine guns, you are allowed to conceal carry most any other weapon. Even in the case of long firearms, depending on the weapon, you may open carry it while you are hunting, fishing, camping or while practicing shooting. Also, you have no duty to disclose whether or not you are carrying a firearm when you have contact with law enforcement. To add to the beauty, the State laws trump local ordinances. So, as long as you are in accordance with State law, you should not come in conflict with a local ordinance. But even with the fairly lax Florida gun laws, situations may arise where you find yourself at odds with state gun laws and could potentially face criminal gun charges. Be sure to check out Title XLVI, Chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes. Fla. Stat. § 790.
Where can you find an experienced attorney?
Getting caught with an illegal firearm could turn a regular run of the mill day into a complete nightmare. There are some defenses such as claiming the gun was a legally transferred gift or an antique that might help your case, however, the courts are best navigated by an experienced Sarasota gun charge attorney. Our Attorney’s have years of experience dealing with criminal gun charges, whether felony or misdemeanor, we have experience making sure our clients don’t get tangled up in the judicial system and doing everything in our power in an attempt to obtain a favorable outcome. If you have been caught with a firearm, please contact one of our qualified lawyers for a consultation and let us fight for you.