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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Gun buy back


Who is sponsoring this gun buy back event?
The gun buy back on June 6, 2015 at Reid-Hillview Airport is being sponsored by County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese and Sheriff Laurie Smith.  Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office will manage the event to ensure its safety and efficiency.
What is this gun buy back event?
This gun buy back will give cash to those who voluntarily turn in firearms – no questions asked.
When is the gun buy back event?
The event will be on Saturday, June 6, 2015, 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
Where is Reid-Hillview Airport?
Reid-Hillview Airport is at 2500 Cunningham Ave., San Jose. Participants should use the Ocala Avenue entrance.
Why a gun buy back event now?
The third gun buy back is being held as part of Unity Day activities. 

What is the amount of money per gun that I might receive?
Up to $100.00 CASH will be given to individuals on the spot for hand guns, shotguns, and rifles and up to $200.00 CASH for assault weapons (as classified by the State of California). However, we reserve the right to limit the amount of funds an individual can receive.
Is there a limit to how many firearms I can turn in?
No. However, we reserve the right to limit the amount of funds an individual can receive, regardless of the amount of firearms the individual has given back.
Does the weapon need to be operable or functional in order to qualify?
We encourage you to bring your firearms to the gun buy back event whether or not they are operable.
Will you accept ammunition?
No, you can call your local law enforcement agency and make arrangements for the destruction of ammunition.
Will gun dealers be able to turn in firearms?
Gun dealers will not be allowed to participate in this event.
Can I sell my gun to another individual at this event, instead of to the Sheriff’s Office?
No, this gun buyback event is NOT a gun show. It is intended to reduce the number of guns in our community, period. Any individual seen attempting to sell their gun to anyone other than a designated Sheriff’s Deputy will be asked to leave the event immediately and will receive no cash from the Sheriff’s Office.
Can residents from outside the county turn in their weapons?
Yes. Although the event is for residents and/or employees of Santa Clara County, residency will not be asked upon turning in of firearms.
Can I turn in the gun for someone else?
Yes. The gun buy back is completely anonymous and no questions will be asked.

Is this a sting? 
No. The gun buy back is not a sting. It is an anonymous process in which individuals can turn in their weapons, no questions asked. 

What happens if you run out of funds?
The quantity of funds is limited and subject to availability.
How is this event being paid for?
The event is being funded by public dollars from Santa Clara County.

Where should my firearms be located when I arrive?
This event will be a drive-through process, so please have all firearms safely stored in the trunk of your car or in the bed of your truck. Please ensure that they ARE NOT loaded.
Will you accept individuals who arrive on foot or any other mode of transit besides a car?
No we cannot accommodate those situations.
How will the process work once I arrive?
We are asking participants to enter reid-Hillview Airport through the Ocala Avenue entrance. Once you are on the property, you will be directed to the gun drop-off station. We anticipate that some participants wishing to turn in their weapons will arrive in their cars before 7 am. We ask that participants patiently wait for their turn and turn off their car if wait times become long to prevent idling. Please DO NOT touch or handle your firearms once you have arrived at the airport. Simply open up your trunk or truck bed and allow Sheriff’s Deputies to handle the firearms you wish to turn in.
Who will be staffing the event?
The event will be staffed by many armed Sheriff’s Deputies to ensure everyone’s safety. All those running the event will be wearing either Sheriff’s Office uniforms or clearly marked Sheriff’s Office safety vests to make it clear that they are staffing the event.

What happens if I decide to turn in a gun then I change my mind and want it back?
Once a firearm is given up, it cannot be returned.
What will happen to the weapons once they are collected?
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.
Will you check for lost or stolen status of the weapons?  If so, will you return to owner?
Yes. All weapons will be checked for lost and/or stolen status.  Every effort will be made to return lost and/or stolen firearms to their rightful owners.
How many guns do you expect to receive?
We hope this event will take hundreds of guns out of our neighborhoods and off of our streets.

Who can I contact if I have a gun that I want to turn in after the event?
If you cannot attend the gun buy back event on June 6, 2015, you may contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4401 or Jeff Cardenas:, and office (408) 299-5027. However, the gun buy back event is the only way to receive cash for the firearm.
Is there a website where I can get more information?
Will there be other gun buy back events in the future in Santa Clara County?
As of right now, no other events have been scheduled, but there may be others in the future.
Last updated: 6/23/2016 5:47 PM