Gun buyback events held in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose

December 14, 2013 6:19:03 PM PST
Gun buybacks were held in several Bay Area cities on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Oakland's buyback Saturday was part of a statewide initiative to prevent gun violence and reduce the number of illegal guns in the community.

People who turned in their weapons got $100 cash for guns and $200 for assault weapons.

"We strategically do the gun buyback right before the holiday season because we know people are looking for extra cash to shop and it creates an extra incentive," said Olis Simmons with Youth UpRising.

"Today most of the guns have been legal," Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said. "But we've had a couple of assault weapons, we've had a lot of hand guns. And a lot of people, sadly to say, don't lock up their guns."

Youth UpRising partnered with the violence prevention group gunbygun to raise $40,000 for Saturday's event.

San Jose held its first gun buyback in more than a decade.

People started lining up at 7 a.m. Saturday to turn in their weapons. By 11 a.m., the buyback had netted more than 300 guns. There were a couple of assault weapons along with rifles and handguns.

"In some of these instances, people didn't even know that they had them," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. "They found them in shoe boxes, which means a child could have found them. It means that somebody who did not handle them could have found them. So I just want to encourage people if you get an opportunity to sell back you guns please do it as quickly as possible."

"I would hope and think this is the start of a partnership with future gun buybacks and the various elected officials within our community," said San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel.

In exchange for weapons, San Jose police handed out Target gift cards worth $100 and $200.

The buyback is part of a push by San Jose police to reduce gang violence, which is often linked to gun violence.

Many turned out for a gun buyback in the Bayview District that was supervised by San Francisco police and sponsored by Alive and Free Omega Boys Club. More than 70 guns were turned in. Owners got $100 for a handgun and $200 for assault weapons.

"One person can do a lot of damage and one person can do a lot of good," said Joe Marshall with the Omega Boys Club. "The biggest risk factor in violence is a firearm."


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