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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 3 years ago

Turn in a gun, get rewarded

by: Tony Judnich

One person turned in a flamethrower.

Another dropped off a bazooka.

And then there were the illegal, sawed-off shotguns.

These are some of the types of weapons that have been turned in at the annual “Kicks 4 Guns” event in Ocoee.

“It’s interesting to see what people have in their gun collections,” Ocoee City Commissioner Joel Keller said at the Aug. 5 commission meeting.

This year’s Kicks 4 Guns program in Ocoee runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at HighPoint Church, 476 Ocoee Commerce Parkway.

During the event, anyone can turn in unwanted guns anonymously and with no questions asked. Participants will receive a $50 gift card, regardless of the number of guns he or she turns in.

The Ocoee City Commission Aug. 5 approved using $3,000 in forfeiture funds for the gift cards. The money provides for 60 $50 gift cards, which will be given for as long as they last.

Kicks 4 Guns is in its 16th year and is sponsored by Real Radio 104.1 and Central Florida Crimeline. The event is overseen by law-enforcement agencies in six counties and takes place in 16 locations.

A total of 1,065 firearms were turned in at last year’s event. Of those, 52 were illegal and/or stolen, according to information from Real Radio. The overall total included 30 guns received by Ocoee police officers. The Cocoa Police Department collected 103 guns, the most of any of the individual collection sites.

Ocoee Police ask people who want to turn in firearms at the Kicks 4 Guns event to transport the weapons unloaded and secured in the trunk of their vehicle, if possible. Upon arriving at HighPoint Church, people should immediately tell the officer who is helping them if the firearms they have are loaded.

Police officers will safely handle and remove the guns at the venue. Gift cards will be given in exchange for genuine firearms only.

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