CAGV Sponsors 3rd Annual Community-Wide Gun Buyback Saturday, June 10, 2017

The June 10th Gun Buyback will take place at Earl Warren Showgrounds directed by the Santa Barbara Police Department. The City of Santa Barbara has stepped up and donated $10,000 for the 2017 gun buyback. With $3,000 donated by US Congressman Salud Carbajal, we have $13,000 banked. CAGV still needs $12,000 more. In prior years we have given out $20,000 in gift cards. That plus additional costs of advertising, space rental, insurance and putting on the event brings the total cost closer to $25,000. We hope the cities of Carpinteria and Goleta pitch in and individual donors will realize that $100 removes a handgun or a rifle from the home which might possibly save a life.

Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis stated that while buybacks might take a small percentage of the guns out of a given community, they still provide a means of taking action. When asked at a press conference in 2014 prior to CAGV’s first gun buyback, what would be considered a success, District Attorney Joyce Dudley immediately said, “One gun. That gun could be used in a suicide or an accidental death.”

CAGV’s 2014 first-ever Gun BuyBack Event recovered 239 firearms – 108 handguns, 84 rifles, 41 shotguns and 6 assault weapons. At CAGV’s 2015 Gun BuyBack Event, 207 firearms were collected – 98 handguns, 86 rifles, 22 shotguns and 1 assault weapon. We gave out $13,700 in Vons gift cards. $100 for a handgun, shotgun or rifle and $200 for a California classified assault weapon.

Gun Buybacks are an effective way to remove unwanted guns from our community. Why would someone have a gun that they no longer want? Perhaps they inherited the gun or no longer use or want the gun in their home. Additionally, many people’s circumstances change over time so they may now wish to remove firearm access from: children or other family members; elderly with dementia; individuals with mental illness; those at risk of suicide; volatile, hot-headed individuals (teenagers with poor judgment); and people involved in emotional conflicts (abuse, relationship break-ups).

Gun BuyBacks work! After a mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in which thirty-five people were murdered and at least eighteen were wounded by an assailant with a semiautomatic rifle, a public outcry brought together Australia’s political parties from the right and left. Conservative Prime Minister, John Howard spearheaded the reform. A major reform law from 1996, which banned semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns and
created an extensive gun-buyback program, has affected firearm fatalities in the country. In the seventeen years before the law was passed, thirteen mass shootings occurred in Australia and since 1996, there have been none. Shamefully, the US Congress did nothing after the killing of twenty children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, or the attack on the Orlando, Florida, night club that resulted in the deaths of forty-nine victims. This data from Australia should remind us that our politicians’ failure to keep high-powered weapons out of public circulation is utterly inexcusable.

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