Friday, June 22 , 2018, 8:49 pm | Fair 61º


Local News

260 Guns Collected at Santa Barbara Buyback Event

Santa Barbara Police Department, Coalition Against Gun Violence distribute more than $23,000 in gift cards at fourth buyback event

Guns collected at buyback event Click to view larger
Guns turned in during Saturday’s anonymous gun buyback program at the Earl Warren Showgrounds will be destroyed, Santa Barbara police said.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Residents turned in 260 guns during Saturday's anonymous gun buyback program at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, according to police.

The collected guns included 99 handguns, 107 rifles, 49 shotguns, and five assault weapons, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood said Monday.

Since 2014 — when SBPD and the Coalition Against Gun Violence held its first gun buyback — 885 unwanted guns have been collected, including 179 last year.

The guns are transported and taken to a site in Long Beach for destruction, Harwood said, adding that individuals can voluntarily surrender a firearm to a law enforcement agency any time.

Residents drove up with the unloaded firearm in the trunk of their car, popped open their trunk, and dropped off the weapon during the buyback program event.

“What we hope to accomplish is to give people a space to relinquish their weapons when they feel that they have no more need for those specific ones,” said Jacqueline Inda, a member of the Coalition Against Gun Violence.

People who turned in a gun received a Smart & Final gift card, and firearms were exchanged for more than $23,000 in gift cards, Inda said.

Participants were offered to fill anonymous surveys after they exchanged their guns.

“We don’t ask a lot of questions, but let people talk when they want to,” Inda said. “There are a couple of stories that stood out — a man came in from the Goleta area. He said he had guns in his home. He has children in his home, but this year he needed to get rid of the firearm that his 17-year-old had access to, because he was worried about him.

Guns collected at buyback event Click to view larger
Guns collected during Saturday’s buyback event are stacked in the back of a truck at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“If all we have done is helped that family, then we have done enough,” she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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