Santa Clara County working to host gun buyback event before year ends

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Five months after the VTA mass shooting at a San Jose railyard took the lives of eight employees, the conversation around gun safety reignited throughout the city and county.

In June, San Jose leaders approved a handful of gun control measures, one of them making the city the first in the nation to require every gun owner to have liability insurance for their firearms. 

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Among the measures to reduce gun harm were to host more gun buyback events, where gun owners can turn in unwanted firearms in exchange for cash.   

But since the measures were adopted, a gun buyback event has yet to be announced. 

The county is currently exploring options and ideas in hosting a gun buyback event in areas most impacted by gun violence. 

Leading the effort, Supervisor Otto Lee tells KRON4 News his office has been working with local law enforcement agencies to possibly hold a gun buyback event by the end of the year. 

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“The last one was before COVID in Sunnyvale for example, that was close to two years ago now and it netted almost 200 hundred guns,” said Lee.

“A gun buyback program in the east side of the county is something that we haven’t had for like four or five years if not more.”

Lee says he and his office are working with the Sunnyvale and Milpitas police departments to try and host a gun buyback program sometime in December.

The potential gun buyback event is currently still in the works. 

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“We believe that would be another location for people, right before the holidays who could use some extra cash, to use the opportunity to turn in unwanted weapons,” Lee added. 

In addition to the gun buyback events, Lee wants county residents to be aware of the Sheriff’s Office year-round 24/7 drop-offs of both firearms and ammunition. 

Residents can drop off their unwanted firearms at the sheriff’s headquarters and its two substations in San Martin and Cupertino.

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