Anyone can turn in unwanted firearms to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office under a program unanimously approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors. The gun safety proposal pitched by Supervisor Dave Cortese also includes a public education component to let people know about the option to dispose of firearms with no questions asked.
Supervisors directed the Sheriff’s Office to come back to the board with a game plan for how it would roll out the program, which would allow people to bring their weapons in anonymously and without liability or extensive paperwork.
Unlike the gun buybacks held at the San Jose fairgrounds in recent years, the turn-in program would not involve a monetary incentive.
“This is not to take the place of gun buy-backs,” Cortese said in a news release Tuesday. “But I meet people who say, for example, that they inherited a number of weapons, don’t want them in their homes but don’t know how legally to get rid of them. Many of these people don’t necessarily want to be paid for relinquishing a firearm that they feel might cause harm to someone or to wait until the next buy-back.”
Cortese’s recommendation was inspired by feedback from residents at a firearm safety summit back in April. About 300 people showed up to the event for a roundtable discussion about gun violence in the U.S., the high rates of gun-related suicides in the South Bay and increasing number of stolen weapons and other gun-related crimes. Click here to read a report on the summit.
“We need to raise awareness about how to get rid of an unwanted firearm, when to do it and that it’s OK and safe to do it,” Cortese said.