SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, the County unveiled its new Santa Clara County Anonymous Gun Buy Back Program to voluntarily turn in firearms, featuring the largest cash-funded gun buy back in county history. The County’s March 2nd Gun Buy Back event will disperse up to $150,000 in cash, available to individuals turning in handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault weapons. The March 2nd Gun Buy Back will be held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San Jose, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information is available at www.sccgunbuyback.com.
The program is an initiative of County of Santa Clara Board President Ken Yeager, in partnership with the County’s top law enforcement officials Sheriff Laurie Smith and District Attorney Jeff Rosen.
“Many lives have been lost by the discharge of guns, whether accidently or intentionally. Working together, we can make our community safer,” said President Ken Yeager. “We want to make it easy for everyone to do the right thing. Our message is clear: Turn in your guns. Receive cash. No questions asked.”
In 2012, the Medical Examiner-Coroner reported that firearms were the cause of nearly two in every three homicides in Santa Clara County. Firearms were involved in 79 deaths in the County in 2012, including 36 homicides and 41 suicides.
Nationwide, there were approximately 31,000 deaths by firearms in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Vital Statistics Report. There were over 19,000 suicides by gunshot, 11,000 homicides and 606 accidental deaths by gunshot.
The Gun Buy Back, organized by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, will provide individuals with up to $100 for each handgun, shotgun and rifle, and up to $200 for each assault weapon as classified in the State of California. Funds are limited and the amount of cash an individual can receive may be limited, regardless of the amount of firearms surrendered.
“We’ve seen our share of victims with gun violence,” said Sheriff Laurie Smith. “Santa Clara County has zero tolerance for violent crime.”
The gun buy back is an anonymous, no questions asked event. No ballistics tests will be performed. All weapons will be checked for lost or stolen status. Firearms will be prepared for disposal or destruction.
“The gun buy back will reduce the likelihood of accidental deaths, suicides and domestic violence homicides,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “I encourage County residents who may have felt helpless in the wake of Newtown and other tragedies to see this as a great opportunity to help."
Also supporting the gun buy back, is City of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed whose Gang Prevention Task Force will assist in getting information to the public. “On behalf of the residents of San Jose, I want to thank Santa Clara County for launching this important initiative,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “Anonymous buy backs have worked in other communities. We appreciate the efforts of Board President Yeager, Sheriff Smith, and DA Rosen to help address the problem of gun violence in our communities.”
Anyone who cannot attend the March 2nd event but would like to turn in guns, may contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4401. However, the gun buy back event is the only way to receive cash for guns.
Gun Buy Back Instructions and Information:
The March 2nd Gun Buy Back will be held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San Jose, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants should enter the Fairgrounds property through the Umbarger Road entrance.
· Individuals can receive up to $100 for each handgun, shotgun and rifle, and up to $200 for each assault weapon as classified in the State of California. Funds are limited and the amount of cash an individual can receive may be limited, regardless of the amount of firearms surrendered.
· Gun dealers will not be allowed to participate.
· The event will be staffed by armed Sheriff’s Deputies to ensure the safety of everyone present.
· All firearms should be stored safely in the trunk of the car or in the bed of the truck. Ensure that they are not loaded.
· Do not touch or handle your firearms once you have arrived at the entrance to the Fairgrounds. Open up your trunk or truck bed and allow Sheriff’s Deputies to handle the firearms you wish to turn in.
· Guns will not be accepted from individuals who arrive on foot or any other mode of transit besides a car or truck.
· If some participants arrive in their cars before 10 a.m., we ask that they patiently wait for their turn and turn off their car to prevent idling if wait times become long.
· Once a firearm is given up it cannot be returned.
· All weapons will be checked for lost or stolen status, and if applicable will be returned to their rightful owners. All other firearms will be prepared for disposal or destruction.
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Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Jim Weston, Office of Supervisor Ken Yeager, (408) 299-5040; Sergeant Jose Cardoza, Sheriff’s Office, (408) 808-4905; Sean Webby, District Attorney’s Office, (408) 792-2997
Posted: February 13, 2013