Cleveland police take in nearly 100 weapons at gun buyback

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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Police took in nearly 100 surrendered handguns, and semi-automatic rifles during the 11th annual Gun Buyback Saturday.

"When people have their weapons not stored properly and their victims of home burglaries those guns are often taken...they end up being sold and become a problem on our streets," said CPD Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia. "So this is an effort to curb that and it's also an effort to take unwanted guns from people."

People surrendering guns received $100 or $200 dollar gift cards from Target, True North and Dave's Supermarkets depending on the type of weapon at Third District Headquarters.

Police say violent crime specifically homicides are slightly down this year compared to this time in 2016. As of Friday police say the city homicide rate is just under 95 people, compared to 101 last year; when the city eclipsed the 2015 total before the year's end.

A Fox 8 camera rolled as an illegal sawed off shot gun, and several handguns with no serial numbers were surrendered. Last year a police say sniper rifle was recovered, along with a Russian made AK-47. While police say this event helps make the streets safer some who surended their guns disagree, citing responsible gun ownership as the best way to curb gun violence.

"I have a permit and everything so I don't think too many criminals will turn them over," said one gun owner surrendering his weapon. "The gun was only worth like $50 dollars so they gave me $100 dollars for it or else I would not have gave it up."

The biggest trend during the buy back where people who inherited guns they had no use for and others who simply no longer wanted their children to have access to weapons.

"It doesn't make me nervous it's just sometimes kids do stupid things and I don't want to be a statistic," said Lenny Chormanski surrendering his grandfather's gun.

All the guns will eventually be melted down at ArcelorMittal and turned into new steel. Police say any remaining gift cars will be saved or given to families during the holiday season.

**More information on the gun buyback program, here**

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