San Jose’s Gun Buyback launch party kicked off this month in order to help raise funds for Dec 13, 2014 to help build community support in San Jose’s gun buyback program. The launch party gave the community an opportunity to donate funds supporting San Jose’s gun buyback program sponsored by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, San Jose Police Foundation, City of San Jose Police Department, along with District 2 County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, California State Assembly, Democratic Caucus Assembly Speaker pro Tem Nora Campos, and United States House of Representatives Mike Honda.
Donations for this year’s buyback event can be submitted online at www.gunxgun.org/sj.
The idea behind San Jose’s gun buyback program is to help remove unwanted guns as well as keep guns out of the hands of children. Johnny Gogo who works with the Santa Clara County Gang Task Force has helped make the program successful in regards to the removal of unwanted guns from off the streets in order. The premise behind the buyback is to help reduce gun violence in the home by by supporting law enforcement agencies as well as political leaders throughout the Santa Clara County.
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Johnny Gogo said, “The crowd funding site allows community members to donate online for the gun buyback.” Gogo said, “During last year’s launch party to help raise funds for the gun buyback a 20% of proceeds raised at Rosie McCann’s was donated.”
With $600 being raised and $400 more being donated at last years event, the proceeds went towards gift cards for an estimated 10 hand guns, rifles, and/or shotguns. Only a few assault weapons were turned in during the gun buyback of 2013. “Our gun buyback is for working firearms only,” Gogo said.
People from the DA’s office joined the event along with people from City Council Member offices. “Because of the generosity of Rosie McCanns, those who were in the bar and restaurant having something to eat and drink were also able to make a 20% contribution to the gun buyback program,” Gogo said.
Teaming up with gunxgun founder Ian Johnstone, the crowd funding program has helped raise money through connections with business’s such as Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant who graciously offered to donate 20% of the their proceeds during the event.
“This is the second year that we are doing it.” Ali Mir, Assistant Manager for Rosie McCann’s said, “Last year the turnout was really good, we had a good crowd of people.” Mir said, “The owner is always trying to get involved in community events and donating to important causes.”
Council member Xavier Campos and council assistant Garrett Radcliffe helped coordinate the Rosie McCann’s Launch Party. Radcliffe said, “we are all working together in order to receive more funding for the gun buyback event.” Campos’s office was able to donate $5000 dollars last year. “We have reached out to the San Jose City Council, Council Member Don Rocha, Council Member Ash Kalra, Mayor Chuck Reed, as well as Council Member Kansan Chu, and Council Member Johnny Khamas have all used their grant money to help donate to this event,” Radcliffe said.
San Jose City Council Member Xavier Campos from District 5 said, “In the wrong hands they are very dangerous.” With guns easily accessible to small children or young adults, finding a proper way to dispose of these guns is important. Campos said, “When guns are improperly mishandled, and when small children and young adults have access to guns, unfortunately it turns tragic.”
Campos said, “We were here last year, in which we raised a good amount of money for the event.” Attending the second annual launch at Rosie McCann’s, Campos hoped to bring awareness to the community through social media and networking with other agencies. Campos said, “When firearms are found in a residence without proper storage, we offer a program to help take them in order to help prevent gun violence in the home.” Campos said, “For every gun you remove you potentially save lives.”
San Jose City Council Member Ash Kalra from District 2 said, “We will continue holding key events to help fund San Jose’s buyback program.” A $100 gift card will be given for working hand guns, rifles and shotguns. You can also bring unwanted gun parts to be recycled. A $200 gift card will also be offered for assault rifles.
“If you don’t have a need for it, it’s better than having it just sits around the house without proper storage,” Kalra said. “People who come to the gun buyback can get some money for their holiday shopping and help dispose of them in a responsible manner.”
Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, “As a part of the program, what we do is help prevent gun violence, and gun crimes in cooperation with police departments throughout Santa Clara County.”
Rosen said, “In terms of the gun buyback last year we had more than 40 murders, with more than half of those caused by firearms.” Agencies throughout Santa Clara County also reported having more than a dozen suicides with a third of those from firearms.
Rosen said, “It is just so very important to remove unwanted guns, and or old guns.” Rosen said, “The way we support the gun buyback program is by mentioning the good work that many of the prosecutors, and police officers here do.” The SCDA’s Office will be contributing $10,000 for San Jose’s 2014 annual gun buyback.
“Each year we are able to take away from criminals thousands of dollars that they have made by selling drugs or other illegal products,” Rosen said. “We take that money and use it to help buy guns from off the streets through the asset forfeiture fund from the district attorney’s office.”
San Jose’s Chief of Police Larry Esquivel said, “A lot of our violent crimes, whether a homicide, or assault with a deadly weapon is from homes that are burglarized.” Esquivel said, “Any one gun is a win for us.”
The San Jose gun buyback is expected to be held at the PALS Stadium located at 680 S. 34th Street in San Jose from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. However when arriving, the entrance to the stadium is located at 647 S. King Rd. You will need to make a turn into Emma Prusch Farm Park. You will then need to follow several signs leading to the stadium.