A South Bay gun buyback became the third largest in the nation last weekend, when Santa Clara County traded $114,000 in cash for 1,116 firearms. Forty-seven of the guns were assault weapons, 479 handguns, 355 rifles and 235 shotguns. There’s still $36,000 leftover for a future buyback.
The single largest payout at the event—for 15 guns—was $1,500, the lowest $50. The average gun ran a little more than $100.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the guns were taken today to an undisclosed location by an undisclosed scrap metal recycling company to be melted down. The metal is then used to be make pipes, car engine blocks, you name it—maybe even jewelry. A Japanese machine gun more than 110 years old was one of the more interesting pieces turned in Saturday.
Of the assault rifles, a handful were fully automatic AK-47s, some were military grade AR-15s, some Tech9s (like the rapper!), others Mac10s (like another rapper), and other guns were modified to be assault weapons, some turned into Uzi-style automatic weapons.
Only Los Angeles and Camden, New Jersey, collected more guns at similar events held in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, bringing in 2,062 (91 of them assault weapons) and 1,137, respectively. Other Bay Area buybacks included San Francisco (296 total firearms), Oakland (300 firearms), San Mateo County (680 firearms, 24 assault weapons) and Palo Alto/Menlo Park (400 firearms).
This past weekend’s event, held Saturday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, let the public turn in guns—legal or otherwise—for straight cash, no questions asked. Most cities or counties that have jumped on the buyback bandwagon trade guns for gift cards.
Ken Yeager, president this year of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, pulled money from the county general fund to hold the event, organized in part by the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies staffed the buyback, a strictly run proceeding. No walk-ups were allowed. Instead, people pulled up in their cars, guns in the trunk. Each car had on average of a couple guns, and 562 vehicles drove through during the course of the day.
Yeager’s buyback may not be the last. The event could be part of a larger plan Yeager has to reduce the number of illegal guns in the county. (An interesting side note is Supervisor Dave Cortese is planning a buyback event of his own within the coming month, maybe by the end of March.) Yeager spoke about that vision during his State of the County speech earlier this year, when he mentioned a report from the Attorney General’s Office that says 529 people in the county who are prohibited from buying guns, for one legal reason or another, actually own a collective 1,239 guns—54 of them assault rifles.
Guns were used in two-thirds of the county’s homicides last year, according to the coroner’s office. Guns were used for 79 deaths in the county overall in 2012: 36 killings and 41 suicides. It costs, on average, $50,000 or more to treat a gunshot wound at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the county says. The county often pays for this treatment, Yeager’s office says. Preventing a single shooting could save taxpayers several thousands of dollars in medical and public safety costs.
While California already has some of the strictest gun laws of any state in the nation, Presdident Obama’s administration is pushing Congress is considering more gun control measures.
you got to love it when a citizen states he wants to turn in an old gun for 100 dollars so he can go buy an updated firearm.
Well done on gun control.
Criminals will always have guns. At least lately they prefer cars to try and kill officers. I think they are 0-7. Keep it up.
> A South Bay gun buyback became the third largest in the nation last weekend, when Santa Clara County traded $114,000 in cash for 1,116 firearms. Forty-seven of the guns were assault weapons, 479 handguns, 355 rifles and 235 shotguns.
An average or $102 per firearm.
A firearm is a legitimate item of personal property, and has a realizable value on the private market for firearms.
I will bet that many of the firearms acquired were worth much more than $102 to private buyers. Have you priced a Glock lately?
Which prompts the question: where did this crowd of meddlesome scolds get the idea that it was in the public interest to use taxpayer dollars to buy valuble items and turn them into worthless items?
Why not resell the high value guns and use the profits to help the poor and handicapped children that Obama so histrionically frets about.
Or, consign the guns to a broker or a dealer and let the sales of the guns generate some taxable business profits and some sales tax revenues.
> This past weekend’s event, held Saturday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, let the public turn in guns—legal or otherwise—for straight cash, no questions asked.
“. . . no questions asked.”
> Man Arrested After Trying To Return Pipe Bomb At Gun Buyback
How about: “Is that thing a pipe bomb?”
That’s a question, isn’t it?