San Francisco

Ex-Felon Leads Effort to Get Guns Off Streets in San Francisco

An unlikely pair is coming together to get guns off the streets--one is a felon, and the other lost his father to gun violence.

Together, the two will sponsor a gun buyback day in San Francisco Saturday. It will be held at the United Players Center on Howard Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

They hope to make a difference in the community.

Rudy Corpuz was a drug addict, who was born and raised in San Francisco's South of Market district, and said he was in-and-out of jail for eight years.

"I used to carry guns, ain’t proud of it now, but that was my lifestyle back then," Corpuz said.

"I always had guns when I was selling drugs," he added. "I had guns when I started using. I would rob people and take their dope with my gun.”

Corpuz said he also saw friends die from gun violence, but he met a man who had a story that changed his life.

Ian Johnstone's father was a victim of gun violence.

"I lost my dad when I was 10 years old to gun violence,” Johnstone said. "He was here in San Francisco on California Street when it happened."

Corpuz did not meet Johnstone by accident. He wrote him several e-mails last year because Corpuz knew Johnstone’s story, and he felt together they could get guns off the street.

"His father got killed by a 16-year-old kid who stole a gun out of a house, so it was a story similar to mine, because the guns I robbed and took from people’s houses,” Corpuz said.

"The gun used in my father’s shooting was stolen from a home in San Rafael just two weeks before it actually happened," Johnstone said.

Earlier this month, they raised $50,000--mostly through crowdfunding.

"If guns aren’t stored properly in the home, if guns aren't locked up, they present a threat to everybody in the community,” Johnstone said.

Corpuz said every gun off the streets counts.

"Even if we get one gun off the streets to me will win it,” Corpuz said.

Those who bring a weapon Saturday will get up to $200--no questions asked.

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