Sheriff: 529 People Own Guns and Shouldn't in South Bay - NBC Bay Area

Sheriff: 529 People Own Guns and Shouldn't in South Bay



    Laurie Smith says she has a list of people who own guns illegally and she is going after them. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013)

    There are hundreds of people in Santa Clara County who own a gun, but are not supposed to.

    They’re on what the Department of Justice calls the “armed and prohibited” list.

    “They’re people who legally had guns and subsequent to them having a firearm became a prohibited person,” said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

    In other words, they purchased a gun legally, but later disqualified themselves from owning a gun by committing a felony, for example.

    The Sheriff said in Santa Clara County alone, there are 529 people on the prohibited list, altogether owning 1239 guns. And among those guns are 54 assault rifles.

    The Sheriff said she wants those guns back, and is hoping the individuals on the list voluntarily turn them in. If not, Smith says she’s ready to send in the SWAT team to get the guns. “The community is concerned about this.

    We know it exists. That’s why we’re going to do a hard hitting plan of getting these guns away from those people, particularly the assault rifles,” said Smith.

    The Sheriff said her office will look at each case individually to see what kind of action her deputies will take.

    The county is also planning a gun buy-back day, to entice people to turn in their firearms. If not, Smith said her deputies are ready.

    “They’re trained to do this. We’ve addressed it on an ongoing basis. We’ve always taken guns away from people. But we’re going to do a real, directed enforcement,” said Smith.