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While record crowds queued up for the Southern Classic Gun & Knife Show in Miami on Saturday, the city's gun buyback program only saw a mediocre firearm return.
From an outpost in the parking lot of a Liberty City church, Miami Police said 129 guns were exchanged for supermarket giftcards and Heat tickets on Saturday, the first in a three-day gun buyback program. (Watch the NBC6 video above.)
Over four hours, police handed out gift cards for guns -- no questions asked. Although Liberty City is largely seen as Miami's ground zero of gun violence (hear from the residents themselves in a recent documentary), authorities believe the program better targets firearm accidents as opposed to crime.
"We just hope that if we can get a weapon that could be used by an irresponsible person -- not even a criminal, like the kid that shot the little girl in the bus in Homestead -- that we will be able to save some lives," said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Police said the guns exchanged were mostly handguns and rifles.
“This,” Miami police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz, holding up a sawed-off shotgun, told CBS Miami, “could cut a person in half. This is exactly what we’re trying to keep off the streets.”
The collected guns will be tested to see if they were used in any crimes and if not, the firearms will be destroyed.
Meanwhile, the gun show at Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo continues to see record turnouts in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
"There has been a backlash after the Connecticut shooting," Victor Bean, a promoter for the gun show, told Local 10, "and now people are trying to buy what they might ban."
Miami Police will hold two more Saturday gun buybacks:
Saturday, January 26: Overtown NET (St. John Baptist Church, 1328 N.W. 3 Ave.) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 2: Little Havana NET (San Juan Bosco Church, 1301 W. Flagler St.) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.