Hillsborough Sheriff's Office collects over 2,500 firearms

TAMPA - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office collected a total of 2,541 firearms Saturday during their county wide gun swap.

Terri Carter joined the hundreds showing up early to turn in their guns.

"It was a gun I didn't use and I didn't need, but I feared it would fall into the wrong hands," she told ABC Action News.

The substation off Waters Avenue was one of five set up by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"I just kept it in the garage. It was for snakes," said Ydilio Alvarez after pointing out a sawed off shotgun.

During Operation Gun Swap the Sheriff's Office offered people the chance to turn in any firearms they had anonymously in exchange for $75 cash and Lightning and Rays tickets.

Alvarez got a voucher, because in one hour deputies ran out of money and tickets. Alvarez was okay with the deal.

Some gun buyers, like Burt Linthicum, showed up trying to cash in on the Sheriff's operation Gun Swap.

"I'm just trying to get a deal," he said.

Deputies said it was legal for the gun buyers to be in some parts, but Alvarez hoped others would follow his example.

"You never know what they are going to do with them or where they're going. That is why I'm here to get them off the streets," he said.

In addition to the thousands of firearms that were turned over, 11 were stolen firearms.

Hundreds of illegal firearms were also collected including two rocket launchers that had to be inspected by bomb technicians to ensure that the weapon was deactivated.

Those who received vouchers can redeem them next Saturday, February 9th, at the Ybor City Operation Center located at 2008 East 8th Avenue.

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