San Jose Police Collect Hundreds of Firearms in Gun Buyback Event

By Damian Trujillo
|  Monday, Dec 16, 2013  |  Updated 7:52 PM PDT
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San Jose officers on Saturday purchased from residents shotguns, hundreds of handguns and seven assault rifles. Damian Trujillo reports.

San Jose officers on Saturday purchased from residents shotguns, hundreds of handguns and seven assault rifles. Damian Trujillo reports.

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Police departments across the country are cross-checking hundreds of guns they took in over the weekend in coordinated gun buyback programs.

From Los Angeles to San Francisco, officers paid $100 to $200 for the guns residents turned in.

"When you take a look at this particular firearm, there is no legitimate reason why this barrel should be shaved off," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Johnny Gogo said Monday while showing NBC Bay Area the arsenal San Jose police collected.

San Jose officers on Saturday purchased from residents shotguns, hundreds of handguns and seven assault rifles. The gun buyback was held at Guadalupe Catholic Church, in a neighborhood that has seen its share of violence this year.

"There's shootings all the time," Guadalupe's Father Jon Pedigo said.  "Within the last couple months we've had three or four murders here just up the street at Capitol Park."

Hundreds of guns were also turned in on Saturday in Oakland and San Francisco.

Technicians tag the guns, then will run their serial numbers before destroying them and melting the metal in a few months.

"Well, I think for a lot of us in the community, it's a good feeling to get them off the streets," Pedigo said. "Any gun off the streets is going to save a life."

Several gun rights groups criticize gun buybacks as public relations stunts, and say the programs doesn't do much good.

Gogo admits there's no hard data linking guns turned in at the events to hard crime, but he notes that two similar gun buybacks by the sheriff's office this year netted 1,700 guns. And some of those guns came back stolen, he said.

"To get a firearm like this is incredible," Gogo said.

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