Gun control and domestic violence prevention advocates on Tuesday were applauding a move by San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell to obtain funding that will help take away weapons from people who are no longer allowed to have them.
Farrell says the money, about $1 million, will come from the passing of Proposition 63, and he'll put it in his upcoming budget.
Farrell, in his role as city supervisor, pushed to close the last gun store in San Francisco, and now he’s promising to get guns out of the hands of those who have them illegally.
When a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Texas in November, it came to light that a 2012 court marshal conviction for domestic violence should have resulted in confiscation of the gunman's firearms. But the Air Force failed to report it to the national database.
The head of San Francisco’s domestic violence consortium, Beverly Upton, said Tuesday the number of gun-related calls has jumped.
"Domestic violence threats with weapons are up 50 percent in San Francisco," Upton said. "We have to stop this trend, and this will help."
Farrell says the money will go to hire four adult probation officers and a supervisor.
"We want less guns on our streets; we want less guns in our homes here in San Francisco," he said. "These people are going to be working full time to get the guns off the streets of San Francisco. I can’t think of a better priority in our upcoming budget than that."
But it’s not as simple as it sounds. The guns are firearms legally registered to a person who has been convicted, so they may be sold back to a dealer or someone else rather than just seized.
Since the measure went into effect in January, three guns have been recovered, according to Karen Fletcher, chief of the Adult Probation Department. But, she added, 300 cases have been referred to her department from the courts, and each one of those needs to be investigated.