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Miami's second gun buyback program of the month hauled in 79 firearms Saturday -- including an AK-47 assault rifle with a 40-round clip.
There was also a sawed-off shotgun that had reportedly been found by an 8-year-old boy at his elementary school in Little Havana.
"That could have led to tragedy," said Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa. "That kid could have played with that weapon, could have shot it, could have shot a friend, could have shot himself."
Police officers accepted firearms with no questions asked at the four-hour event, handing out grocery store gift certificates or Heat tickets to anyone relinquishing a weapon. Though researchers say buyback programs aren't an effective way to curb gun violence, those taking advantage of the event -- including a convicted felon who would be jailed if caught with a firearm -- seemed relieved to hand over their weapons.
“My uncle passed away, and he left a rifle in the house and we found it,” Cecilia Cooper told NBC6 after exchanging the gun for Heat tickets. “So we just wanted to get it off the streets and out the house, too.”
The program, held at Overtown's St. John Baptist Church, is the second of three weekend buybacks. An event in Liberty City last weekend took in 129 firearms, and a third event will be held in Little Havana February 2.