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Gun Buy Back Program

Santa Clara County Gun Buy Back Pays out $114,000, brings in 1,116 Firearms, 47 Assault Weapons

'Many lives have been lost by the discharge of guns, whether accidently or intentionally,' said President Ken Yeager. 'Working together, we can make our community safer.' 

Various guns

The Santa Clara County Anonymous Gun Buy Back event held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on March 2, 2013, took in 1,116 firearms and paid out $114,000, making the event one of the largest gun buy backs in the Bay Area.

The Gun Buy Back Program, a partnership among County of Santa Clara Board President Ken Yeager, Sheriff Laurie Smith, and District Attorney Jeff Rosen, was launched in February following President Yeager's 2013 State of the County Address where he announced his initiative to reduce the number of guns in the community.

The partnership with the top law enforcement officials in Santa Clara County offered up to $150,000 in cash, and paid up to $100 for each handgun, shotgun and rifle, and up to $200 for each assault weapon at the March 2 event.

At the event, 562 vehicles were processed. The average number of guns per car was two.


Gun statistics:

  • 1,116 total firearms collected
  • 47 assault weapons
  • 479 handguns
  • 355 rifles
  • 235 shotguns

Cash payout statistics:

  • $114,000 total payout at the event
  • $1,500 - highest single payout (for 15 guns)
  • $50 - lowest single payout
  • $200 - average payout by vehicle
  • $102 - average payout per gun

The gun buy back was an anonymous, no questions asked event. No ballistics tests were performed on firearms turned in. All weapons were checked for lost or stolen status, and then prepared for disposal or destruction.

Anyone who couldn't attend the 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.

Due to the success of the March 2 event, the County may consider holding another gun buy back in the future. Please check back for updates.

Ken Yeager and Laurie Smith at the Gun Buy Back

Second Santa Clara County Gun Buy Back Pays Out $61,150, Brings in 610 Firearms, 17 Assault Weapons

County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, Sheriff Laurie Smith, and District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced the outcome of the Santa Clara County Anonymous Gun Buy Back Event held at Reid-Hillview Airport on March 23, including the collection of 610 firearms and the payout of $61,150.

The second gun buy back event, part of Supervisor Cortese’s Unity Day activities, offered cash to individuals turning in handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault weapons.

Gun statistics:

  • 610 total firearms collected
  • 17 assault weapons
  • 225 handguns/pistols
  • 237 rifles
  • 123 shotguns
  • 8 Other (airsoft, BB guns) - unpaid

The second gun buy back on March 23 added to the 1,116 firearms collected at the County’s largest gun buy back event held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on March 2, which included a payout of $114,000.

About 200 people attended the Unity Day event where there was a peace walk and resource fair. Participants were also encouraged to turn in non firearm weapons and gang colors. The event collected approximately 150 gang related items including knifes, pellet guns, bandannas and other clothing indicative of gang activity.

“This is our third year reaching out to support a peaceful community,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese. “I am pleased that so many residents are taking advantage of this opportunity to turn in weapons and gang paraphernalia.”

The gun buy back held by Supervisor Cortese, which has been a part of Unity Day activities for three years, was followed by a peace walk, a resource fair and free food and entertainment at Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose.

Board of Supervisors Seal - Santa Clara Co. - Board President - Ken Yeager Sheriff Laurie Smith District Attorney - County of Santa Clara - Jeff Rosen

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