Monday, November 30 , 2015, 9:50 am | Fair 58º

Santa Barbara Gun Buyback Program Nets 239 Weapons

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk News Editor | @magnoli |

Santa Barbara’s first gun buyback initiative collected 239 unwanted guns, police said Saturday. 

The Coalition Against Gun Violence event let residents turn in guns anonymously and gave out gift cards as incentives, organizers say. More than $23,000 in gift cards were handed out, they said.

On Saturday, Sgt. Riley Harwood said, people turned in 108 handguns, 84 rifles, 41 shotguns and six “assault” weapons.

This was the first event of its kind for Santa Barbara but authorities say unwanted weapons can be turned in at any local police department.

Organizers said gun buyback events like this one focus on preventing accidental gun deaths and the safety of children.

At a news conference last week, coalition member Toni Wellen said California law requires gun owners with children in the home to keep guns unloaded and locked safely away from ammunition.

Student leaders at UC Santa Barbara also led efforts to raise money for the gun buyback program, following last month’s mass murder in Isla Vista. The rampage left seven dead, including four killed by gunshots.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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