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Bay Area gun buybacks mark hundreds of firearms for destruction

Bay Area gun buybacks mark hundreds of firearms for destruction
Bay Area gun buybacks mark hundreds of firearms for destruction 02:27

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Several Bay Area law enforcement agencies held anonymous gun buyback events on Saturday.

In South San Francisco, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office along with a handful of other local agencies took in 392 firearms, including seven assault style weapons and 12 ghost guns.

Handguns, shotguns and rifles were purchased for $100 each and assault style weapons and ghost guns fetched $200 each.

"We will destroy each and every weapon that we receive," said Sheriff Carlos Bolanos.

The purpose of these buybacks, according to Bolanos?

"Get them off the streets, enhance public safety and ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands," he said.

This gun buyback was on the calendar before the recent string of mass shootings that have shaken the nation.

"We had it scheduled already but it certainly is timely with all of the tragic gun events occurring. I'm very pleased to see our residents recognizing the important of getting guns they don't need or want off their hands," Bolanos said.

Danielle Lacampagne, with Citizens for a San Mateo County Gun Buyback, says events like these won't stop all of the problems of gun violence but they can help reduce the number of guns that end up on the streets.

"It's been very clear that the citizens and residents here in San Mateo County are quite concerned about gun violence," she said. "It certainly isn't going to address the issue of gun violence and gun safety in total but it gives residents an option that's safe for them to turn in their unwanted firearms."

This was the fifth gun buyback event in the county in recent years.

"In the last four gun buybacks, there's been 1,679 firearms turned in," Lacampagne said.

Robyn Siebler, from San Jose, drove up to South CIty to get rid of her guns. She didn't want the guns she inherited to end up in the wrong hands.

"I brought a .22 rifle and a handgun," Siebler said. "If somebody breaks into my house and steals a gun that's there, my fear would be that that could then be used against other people."

There was a gun buyback event in Marin County on Saturday as well.

"A gun buyback event like today's is a perfect opportunity for those who no longer want guns in their homes to come and turn them in," said Capt. Roy Leon, with the San Rafael police department.

It was the first time Marin has held a gun buyback since 2016.

"We really want to keep this a regular thing. We're hoping to be able to do it two times a year," said District Attorney Lori Frugoli. "We're not pretending this will stop these mass shootings but it's one action people can take to keep our community safer."

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