You can now get new gift cards for your old guns in Santa Barbara, California.
According to KEYT 12, Santa Barbara police are offering a new gift card incentive program in cooperation with the Coalition Against Gun Violence. This is the second time that the two have paired up to get guns off the streets using gift cards. The event was held today.
Interested parties drove to the Earl Warren Showgrounds parking lot to get rid of any unwanted guns. Handguns, shotguns, and rifles would be exchanged for a $100 Vons gift card. Any assault weapons would get a $200 Vons gift card.
In all, the event got 207 guns off the streets, with 98 handguns, 86 rifles, 22 shotguns, and one assault rifle comprising the collection.
The guns that were collected will now be entered into a database. If they are found to have been stolen, the gun in question will be returned to the original owner, if possible. If the original owner cannot be located, or does not want the gun back, it will go with the other guns and be destroyed.
The goal of the event, says Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, is to deter violent crime before it has a chance to happen.
“All of the research and all of the studies have shown that most gun violence, accidental gun violence, occurs in the family home. If we can get people to get rid of guns that they don’t want in their homes, it’s going to save lives. We know that for older people when they suffer depression, if there is a gun in the house they are more likely to commit suicide. Accidents with children are more likely to happen if there are firearms in the home,” Jackson said.
Santa Barbara Edhat is reporting that the gun buyback is anonymous, no information was collected. Ammunition could also be brought in to collect, but no gift cards were given for ammunition. Gun locks were available at no additional charge for those who wanted one. The event organizers ask that any weapons be brought to the event for the gift card exchange in the trunk of your car with the ammunition removed. Also, any military ordinance, such as hand grenades and artillery shells, will not be accepted at the collection event for gift cards.
The Coalition Against Gun Violence, which raised over $20,000 to fund the gift card event, also uses the event to teach people attending about changes in gun laws.
“It is the law now, if you have children 18 or under and you have firearms in your home that your firearm must be unloaded and locked securely and separate from the ammunition,” said Toni Wellen.
The city of Santa Barbara and the Coalation Against Gun Violence hope to continue this gift card event in the future.
[Image courtesy of KCBX]