SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) – The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors have approved the creation of a gun buyback program, with the first event planned for December.
During Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors approved a $208,000 grant to help establish the program and fund it through 2023. Officials said the grant funding, which comes from reserves by a voter-approved sales tax measure, would be combined with $100,000 from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and $67,000 from a community group who sought the buyback program.
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The first of five gun buyback events is scheduled for December 11, with the location yet to be announced.
“A strong gun buyback program will help to ensure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Supervisor Don Horsley, who co-sponsored the measure and noted 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,” Horsley went on to say.
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Supervisor Dave Pine, another co-sponsor of the buyback program, said, “By taking guns out of circulation, coupled with strong local safety policies, we can continue to reduce the prevalence and availability of guns.”
Buyback events will be run by the sheriff’s office, officials said. People will be able to turn in firearms no questions asked, with $100 being offered for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and $200 for assault rifles.
Recipients will also have the option of accepting the cash incentive or donating the incentive to selected nonprofit organizations.
“Gun violence reduction is a major component of public safety and by taking these weapons out of circulation, we will continue to keep San Mateo County a safe place to live, work, and play,” said Sheriff Carlos Bolanos.
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San Mateo County has held gun buyback events before. Officials said three events held in 2018 and 2019 were successful, with a total of 1,254 firearms being collected.