The following was submitted by Eric, via Cop Block’s ‘submit tab.”
This occurred at approximately 9:15AM on February 2nd, 2013, on the northeast corner of Fletcher and Nebraska in Tampa, FL. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) was offering $75 and sporting tickets as payment for each gun turned in voluntarily. The collected guns will be destroyed.
Seeing an opportunity to purchase these guns, putting them in hands of a responsible gun owner, I arrived at the site just as it opened. I pulled out a sign which read “I will pay 2x cash for working guns” and paced the sidewalk leading up to the property where the deputies had set up their shop.
Within minutes, this (unidentified) deputy told me I had to stop because it was “obstruction of a lawful event.” I stood my ground, and continued to wave the sign for about 3 hours.
When asked, “Am I free to go?,” the deputy stated “Sir, I’m not arresting you, at this time…” He then called someone on his phone, while walking behind me for about 2-3 minutes. Then, he disappeared, not to be seen again.
Several other sign holders came up to me asking what happened. A few had been approached and were lead to believe they would be arrested if they didn’t comply – so they did. Only after they saw me stand my ground did they cautiously return.
SECOND HAND INFORMATION: Another group of guys, who’d apparently gotten there before the event started, were boxed in by two deputies’ vehicles. They were asked if they had weapons. When they confirmed, the grilling began. When asked why they were being questioned, one deputy responded, “Because we don’t know your intent.” They reluctantly provided the driver’s license, concealed carry license, and license plate information.
It appears to me that these officers of the law knew (or should have known) that they had no legal basis for challenging individuals on the sidewalk. That did not keep them for trying to intimidate or harass them. Obviously, the majority of those confronted did as told and only returned once they saw there were no consequences.
It was incredibly disheartening to see how many people were so willing to surrender their firearms to our government. I spoke with several of them and a few openly admitted these were their “junk” guns, and the “real” ones were at home in a safe.
Another attendee of the event contacted me and believes the name of this deputy is either Lt. Hawkins or Lt. Harkins.