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'Kicks for Guns' event begins in central Florida

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CENTRAL FLORIDA - The Orlando Police Department kicked off its annual Kicks for Guns event Thursday.

Police said anyone can turn in a gun with no questions asked and no identification required.

In return, they will be given a $50 gift card to Target, Walmart or a BP gas station.

WFTV reporter Deneige Broom found out that 1,300 guns were turned in last year and 2,200 guns two years before.

Officers say they don't know the reason for the drop and aren't sure what to expect for this year, but said they hope more people take them up on the offer.

Last year, more than 10 agencies set up shop across central Florida. This year, 14 took part.

"I said, 'Wow, that is an awesome thing that I can get rid of this gun,'" said Orlando resident Gale Robinson.

For 12 hours, law enforcement officials collect the weapons, but not names or addresses.

"If we get one, that means we've engaged at least one person to help us make their community safer," said Orlando Police Lt. Barb Jones.

Officers then examine the guns to make sure they are not illegal, and that they still have their serial numbers. From there, police said the rest will be destroyed.

Officers said the guns could have fallen into the hands of criminals.

"Believe it or not, people have guns that are stored away that they don't pay attention to, and then they become victims of residential burglaries," said Master Sgt. Roger Brennan of the Orlando Police Department.

Alic Green had two things on his mind when he turned in old guns.

"I have two kids," Green said.

Green says he got them after his uncle died and had no use for them so he brought them to the event.

He drove off with two $50 gift cards and peace of mind.

"I figured I could get them off the street and get them up here," Green said.

Police said the event could prevent accidental shootings.

"People come visit or kids have friends come over," Brennan said.

Officers also believe if a home is burglarized a criminal could take one of the guns that have been stashed away.

Once turned in, officers comb over the gun's serial number to find out if it has been reported stolen and can find out in seconds through their computer system.

WFTV found out that this year police will not be checking to see if the guns were used in crimes.

During last year's event, some people called police to have them pick the guns up from their homes.

The event goes on until 7 p.m.

Several other locations across central Florida are holding similar events, and at least a dozen law enforcement agencies are expected to participate.

Click here to find a 'Kicks for Guns' event in your area.