By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Government, Convene Gun Violence Task Force

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Commissioner Beckner’s motion last month for the creation of a task force that proposes prevention and intervention services focused on gun violence as well as responsible gun use and ownership.

According to county officials, the task force is promising to produce recommendations to formalize a public health and safety program focused on gun violence in the community, and propose changes to local, state and federal laws.

“Let us bring the community together and begin the dialogue about the level of violence in our

culture,” Beckner said prior to putting his motion on the floor for a vote, urging the Board to call in the experts to make recommendations about how to begin successfully reducing the brutality, cruelty and carnage on the streets by implementing proven prevention and intervention techniques.

Staff in the County Administrator’s office are to report back to the commissioners at the Board’s meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 20 to provide a proposed structure and format for the task force, envisioned to consist of (at least) law enforcement agencies, mental health and medical health professionals, educators, and other community partners.


Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Schedules Gun Swap

The effort by HCSO deputies to get unwanted guns off the streets in Hillsborough County

isn’t new, but in the wake of the recent surge of headlines involving gun-related violence throughout the  country, the time to make an extra effort is as appropriate as any.

According to HCSO Lieutenant, Chad Chronister, deputies will be on hand at five locations throughout the county to give gun owners a $75 voucher and two tickets to an upcoming Tampa Bay Rays game in an anonymous exchange for their guns.

“Since the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the department has been overwhelmed by phone calls and emails by residents who are interested in turning in their guns,” Chronister said.

The gun swap is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


The five locations are:

Sheriff’s Operations Center, 2008 E. 8th Ave.

Site of closed Sunoco gas station,13501 N. Nebraska Ave.

IGA Grocery Store, 14720 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Sheriff’s Town ‘N Country Substation, 7519 W. Waters Ave.

Sheriff’s Progress Village Substation, 7935 Flower Ave.


Gun Swap Rules:

*Any firearm accepted/no limit

*Firearms must be unloaded

*No questions asked

*One gift card/voucher per firearm

*Unwanted ammunition will be accepted

*No BB guns, pellet guns or paintball guns

*All firearms collected will be destroyed

For more information about gun swap, please visit


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