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Gun owners dunk on Shaq for sponsoring firearm buyback event in red state: 'Absolutely not'

Gun owners react to NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal sponsoring a gun buyback event in Dallas County, Texas, earlier this month, an NRA video shows.

FIRST ON FOX: Gun owners and National Rifle Association members dunked on NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal for sponsoring a Texas county’s first-ever gun buyback initiative earlier this month, video of the gun owners shows. 

"I don’t care how big you are or how intimidating you may be because of your celebrity status," one woman said in the video published by the NRA. "I don’t think it’s worth giving up my freedom, or my kids’ [freedom]."

Dallas County held its first gun buyback event earlier this month, which was sponsored by O’Neal. The former NBA MVP is a licensed police deputy in multiple states, including California and Georgia, and serves as an honorary deputy in southeast Texas, the Dallas Morning News reported. O’Neal did not attend the event, though the local sheriff said he endorsed the initiative. 

"I support Sheriff Brown's initiatives; Sheriff is doing the right thing and keeping our communities safe," O'Neal said in a press release ahead of the event, local outlet WFAA reported. 

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Sheriff Marian Brown, a Democrat, announced the county’s first-ever gun buyback event earlier this month, when she encouraged locals to turn over "unwanted weapons that are lying around the house." 

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"This is an opportunity for law enforcement to educate and equip community members with the tools to properly dispose of unwanted firearms," Brown said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Too many deaths have occurred from firearms lying around, and they end up in the hands of our vulnerable population."

The county offered $100 gift cards for handguns and $125 gift cards to residents with long guns. 

The NRA members and gun owners, who were attending the Second Amendment group’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when the video was filmed, gave a resounding "no" and "absolutely not" when asked about the gun buyback initiative.

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"[It’s] a way for the government to take more control of what we can and cannot do," one woman said in a video published by the NRA. 

Another woman noted that her guns are "my protection" and that she would not sell them back, while yet another woman was puzzled over the amount offered to sell the guns back. 

"I’m not sure the last time you bought a gun, but they’re a lot more expensive than $100 or $125," she said. 

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Another man noted that guns have been passed down in his family from generation to generation, and that he would not give those up. 

Gun buyback initiatives are largely promoted by Democratic elected officials at the local level in an effort to cut back on crimes and violence. A working paper published on the National Bureau of Economic Research's website in 2021 found "no evidence" such programs "reduce gun crime."  

"That feels like with his celebrity status, he could probably do something more productive than this," one man in the video said of O’Neal’s involvement in the initiative. 

Fox News Digital reached out to O’Neal’s agent but did not immediately receive a reply regarding the gun owners’ comments. 

The Dallas Sheriff’s office reported that they "collected more than 130 firearms" following the gun buyback event on Feb. 10.

"You're not taking it for $100," one gun owner said in the video. "You're surely not taking it for $125, and there is no amount of money you're taking it for." 

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