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Orange County Sheriff's Office offering cash for guns

Sheriff Jerry Demings hopes to stem amount of stolen firearms

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The number of firearms stolen in Orange County is on the rise, according to the Sheriff's Office, which is offering gift cards for guns on Friday.

[PHOTOS:  Guns turned into Orange County Sheriff's Office]

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., residents can turn in guns to deputies at South Orange Blossom Trail and 29th Street -- with no questions asked -- and get a $50 gift card in return.

In Orange County last year, 500 guns were illegally taken by criminals out of homes, businesses and cars, deputies said.

Orange County Sherriff Jerry Demings released a public service announcement on the issue, saying responsible gun ownership is the key to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

Demings also noted that the push comes a year after Deputy Scott Pine and Windermere police Officer Robert German were killed by suspects with stolen firearms. He said their deaths could have been prevented.

The sheriff's wife, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, had her gun stolen in 2009. It has never been recovered.