Large Turnout at Gilroy Gun Buyback

The turnout was large Saturday when Gilroy Police hosted the first gun buyback in South Santa Clara County in 25 years, just months after the mass shooting at the town’s Garlic Festival and another deadly shooting in nearby Morgan Hill.

Law enforcement agencies weren’t sure what kind of response
they would get, but according to attendees, the mass shootings so close to home
inspired them to get rid of guns they weren’t using before those weapons fell
into the wrong hands. In total, authorities confirmed that 493 guns were turned

“We had over 70 cars waiting when we opened at 9 a.m.,” said
Gilroy Deputy District Attorney Josue Fuentes. “Within the first hour we had
already given out $20,000.”

The guy buyback process was anonymous, no questions asked.
Participants received $200 for a working assault weapon and $100 for a working
handgun, rifle or shotgun.

“It’s been in the garage for over 30 years, just sitting
there,” said one participant. “We think about it once or twice a year…so this
gave us an opportunity to do something about it.”

Gilroy Police Sgt. John Ballard said that police just want
to make guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“We want to get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t
have guns,” he said. “Children, criminals, people with mental health issues.”

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