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Sheriff John Rutherford is promoting the Gun Bounty Program to get illegal guns off the streets of Jacksonville

11:15 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford is helping re-market an old program to clean up the community. His goal is to get illegal guns off the streets.

It's the called the Gun Bounty Program and the idea is simple: report someone who illegally has a gun and if that person is arrested and the gun confiscated, you get $1,000.

Alexis Miller says she knows the dangers of guns falling into the wrong hands. Her 30-year-old uncle, Michael White, died after being shot four times on the Northside. He left behind an 8-year-old son. The alleged shooter now sits behind bars awaiting trial.

"He died in November a couple days before Thanksgiving. He was walking from the corner store on his way home to go to church and a man took his life," said Miller. "It was just senseless, and it was just a crazy thing that happened to an innocent person who never did anything to anybody."

Sheriff Rutherford wants to put a dent in gun violence. He says he's sending a warning to anyone illegally carrying a gun: If you put the community at risk, the sheriff says he is going to put you at risk of being locked up. He is promoting the Gun Bounty Program.

"The guys we're talking about, they'll turn their mamma in for a $1,000," said Sheriff Rutherford.

The sheriff said tipsters can stay anonymous.

"That's why we use Crime Stoppers for the Gun Bounty Program, so they can call in and remain completely anonymous and your best buddy can turn you in and you are never going to know it's him for turning you in for carrying that gun illegally."

Miller is hopeful the Gun Bounty Program will help make the streets of Jacksonville safer.

"I think that's a great idea because now people will talk more," said Miller.

Sheriff Rutherford said since the program first started in 2006, more than 300 people have been arrested and more than $200,000 in gun bounty money has been paid out.

If you want to turn someone in who you know is carrying an illegal gun, call First Coast Crime Stoppers 1-866-845-8477 (TIPS).

First Coast News

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