San Mateo County invests in series of gun buyback events

San Mateo County invests in series of gun buyback events

in Community

San Mateo County is funding a series of gun buyback events through 2023, with the first of five planned events scheduled to occur Dec. 11.

On Wednesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a grant of up to $208,000 in Measure K Reserves to establish the San Mateo County Gun Buyback Program, which will benefit from an additional $100,000 from the Sheriff’s Office and $67,000 raised by Citizens for a San Mateo County Gun Buyback, a local community group.

Individuals at gun buyback events will be able turn in firearms to law enforcement, with no questions asked, and receive $100 per handgun, shotgun and rifle and $200 per assault weapon, the County said. Participants can keep the cash or donate it to selected nonprofit organizations. The events also provide education on safe firearm storage and other safety protocols for the home, and can include the distribution of free gun locks, the County said.

Three gun buyback events in the County in 2018-2019 reportedly yielded a total of 1,254 firearms collected.

Supervisor Dave Pine said gun violence remains “an ever-present danger” in local communities.

“By taking guns out of circulation, coupled with strong local safety policies, we can continue to reduce the prevalence and availability of guns,” Pine said in a statement.

Supervisor Don Horsley added that two thirds of gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

“By creating an avenue to turn in unwanted firearms we can work to prevent future loss of life,” he said.

Photo courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, from a gun buyback event in 2013.