Lt. Governor Newsom Issues Call for Arms in Bay Area Gun Program

09-12-16

(San Francisco) - California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on Bay Area residents to consider a gun buy-back program launching in Marin County tomorrow, September 13, 2016. Tuesday's event offers responsible gun owners an opportunity to return unwanted or unsecured firearms. The program is open to residents of Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Sonoma counties.

"We're all attuned to the appalling statistics of gun-related suicide, infanticide, and homicide. Unsecured or unwanted firearms in our homes are one reason why too many lives are tragically taken and the buy-back program led by District Attorney Berberian is a must for gun owners with unwanted firearms, or owners who are simply unable to secure their weapons safely," said Lt. Governor Newsom. "The risk of allowing easy firearm access to children, thieves, and other dangerous individuals are self-evident and I encourage Bay Area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to make our homes and communities a safer place."

The Buyback will be held Tuesday, 13 September 2016 from 11am to 8pm in the following Marin County locations: California Highway Patrol Office, Novato Police Department, Mill Valley Police Department, San Rafael Police Department and Marin County Sheriff's Point Reyes Sub-station. To participate, owners must be resident in Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, or Contra Costa Counties and present a valid ID or current utility bill to verify residency. Participants can be compensated for up to three firearms. $200 is allotted for operable semi-automatic handgun or an operable assault rifle and $100 for any other operable firearms.

"Although I acknowledge a Gun Buyback Program will not end our senseless, gun violence epidemic in and of itself, I strongly disagree with those who say nothing is accomplished in such programs. As Lt. Governor Newsom has stated, too many lives are lost from neglected and at times forgotten firearms," said Edward Berberian, District Attorney of Marin County, whose office is co-ordinating the program. "If just one life is spared because an improperly secured firearm was removed from our homes then all the effort and resources expended are worthwhile. Furthermore these programs stand as a symbol and provide a signal to our national leadership to enact reasonable regulatory firearm laws that provide uniform regulation across all our fifty states. It is a disgrace and disservice to all of us that our national leadership has taken no action."

A U.S. Treasury Department study revealed that nearly a quarter of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun trafficking investigations involved stolen firearms and were associated with over 11,000 trafficked firearms. Ten percent of the investigations involved guns stolen from residences.

Approximately one of three handguns is kept loaded and unlocked and most children know where their parents keep their guns, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In a 2006 study, 73-percent of children under age 10 living in homes with guns reported knowing the location of their parents' firearms, and 36-percent admitted they had handled the weapons; 39-percent of parents who reported that their children did not know the storage location of household guns and 22-percent of parents who reported that their children had never handled a household gun were contradicted by their children's reports. Additionally, Everytownresearch.org found that from December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings - almost two each week.

Lt. Governor Newsom has been an active leader in efforts to reduce gun violence. As former Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom introduced the GunStop program, which rewarded anonymous reports of individuals possessing illegal firearms and contributed to SFPD's seizure of roughly 1,100 illegal firearms on average annually. As mayor, Newsom supported a 100-percent increase of staffing for SFPD's Gun Reduction Unit, which develops and implements strategies to track illegal firearms trafficking into San Francisco. Newsom also led legislation clarifying the city's general prohibition on discharging firearms, requiring more stringent locking features on residential firearms, and the regular transmission of inventory data for licensed firearms dealer.

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