Santa Clara County buyback yields over 600 firearms

SAN JOSE, Calif.

The buyback held Saturday at the Reid-Hillview Airport at 2500 Cunningham Ave. in San Jose yielded 610 guns adding to the 1,116 firearms collected at a March 2 event at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

The guns collected comprised of 17 assault weapons, 225 handguns, 237 rifles, 123 shotguns and eight other weapons such as BB guns that did not receive a pay out.

Participants in the anonymous buyback received money for turning in the weapons, with a total of $61,150 paid out.

At the March 2 event sponsored by the county, $114,000 was paid out, a record amount compared to similar events in other Bay Area counties.

Saturday's buyback included a peace walk, a resource fair and other entertainment as part of a third annual event held by county Supervisor Dave Cortese's office at Most Holy Trinity Church, located near the airport at 2040 Nassau Drive.

Some 200 participants were part of the fair, where 150 gang-related items were collected, such as knives, pellet guns, bandanas, and other gang clothing.

Michelle Pelayo-Osorio from Cortese's office said there was remaining money from the county's March 2 buyback that was used for Saturday's event.

Usually Cortese's office hosts a gun exchange with items donated from corporate sponsors at the community safety event, however this year there were funds available to coordinate a buyback, she said.

"The goal is how to continue to do it...and get the neighborhood involved," Pelayo-Osorio said.

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