Jackie Speier to co-host gun buyback tomorrow

A Bay Area Congresswoman serving on House Democrats’ gun-violence task force is co-sponsoring an anonymous gun buyback tomorrow.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier and San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks will host the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 in the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo. Anyone can surrender weapons, no questions asked, and receive up to $100 cash for a handgun, shotgun or rifle, or up to $200 cash for an assault weapon.

“Gun buybacks are a powerful tool to make our streets and schools safer,” Speier said in a news release. “There is no reason we need 90 weapons per 100 Americans, making the U.S. the most heavily armed society in the world. Buybacks are convenient opportunities for responsible gun owners to get rid of guns they no longer want. Fewer guns also mean fewer accidents and fewer chances for guns to fall into the wrong hands.”

Speier – who attended a gun-violence task force hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa – will also hold a town hall meeting with constituents from 1 to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at Temple United Methodist Church, 63 Beverly St. in San Francisco.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    The ridiculously low cash payments will probably encourage desperate people to steal firearms. No questions asked.

  • JAFO

    I realize she speaks from personal and tragic experience, but respectfully, the congresswoman’s logic escapes me. I would ask one question: How many thugs and gang-bangers can we expect to find standing in line waiting to turn in their illegal guns? The answer is obvious. Only law-abiding citizens will be turning in their unwanted, most likely legal, weapons. Fair enough. I have no problem with them voluntarily doing so. However, to suggest that by their acts our streets will have been made safer from the acts of “outlaws” or “wackos” is simply wishful thinking. But, with a nod to the 60’s I say, “If the act of turning in legal weapons feels good, just do it.”

  • JohnW

    Re: 2 JAFO Says,

    I have my own doubts about the effectiveness of buyback programs. However, I’m not sure it’s true that only legally owned weapons are turned in. After all, there have been grenade launchers turned in at a couple of these buyback programs.

    My thought is that some of these guns are just turned in for cash, so that the owner can use the money to trade up to a newer, more state-of-the-art gun. So, in some cases, the buybacks might actually backfire, so to speak.

  • JAFO

    Let’s not mislead with half-truths. Yes, I saw the article where the AP reporter breathlessly informed readers that one “grenade launcher” was turned in. However, I also recall reading past the sensational headline where the article provided additional information about the obsolete Army-surplus nature of the equipment. I don’t recall reading anything about the equipment being operational. Just think how much fun the reporter and headline writer would have had if someone had turned in a WWII-era Sherman tank. While fairly unusual, it’s legal to own one of those as well, so long as it’s non-operational, and a few collectors actually do.

  • Josh Richman

    I read Speier’s comments to mean she hopes the buyback is less about taking guns directly from criminals than it is about taking guns out of homes from which they could be stolen by criminals.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    What’s next? Let’s try cash for illegally obtained drugs—no questions asked.

  • Elwood

    @ Josh #5

    Oh, good grief!

    By that reasoning all guns should be taken out of all homes because they might be stolen.

    And I’m sure many “liberals” and “progressives” would think that’s a dandy idea.

  • Josh Richman

    @ #7 – That’s quite a leap of reasoning, Elwood. I think the rationale here is that if you have a gun laying around that you don’t want, and you can get cash for it, and by voluntarily selling it you’re also ensuring nobody will ever break into your house and take it, what’s the harm?

  • JohnW

    Re: #4 JAFO Says

    You may be right about about the grenade launcher, but that doesn’t change my guess that some portion of the guns turned in are illegally owned firearms. Isn’t that why they make it anonymous? But Josh’s point about legal guns just lying around the house seems right too. When I got out of the Army, I still had a .22 rifle at home and wanted to get rid of it. Would gladly have exchanged it for $200.

    Speaking of tanks, at least one California citizen, our former governor Schwarzenegger owns a 1952 vintage 50-ton M47 Patton tank. I’m guessing the gun is non-operational. Hope so. But the vehicle is very operational. He uses it for a variety of purposes, including charity. But he likes to take it out for a spin and crush old cars with it. That would be quite a sight if he showed up at a gun buyback and asked for his $200.

  • RR senile columnist

    There’s an elderly German fellow I’ve heard about who is said to be eager to dispose of an .88 mm antitank gun. Would he be able to arrange pickup by the authorities? PS: His neighbor is an elderly Frenchman with a .75 field gun.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    The story I hear is: Gun dealers are getting cash for trash.

  • Josh Richman

    Here’s one of the photos that the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office tweeted during the buyback: https://twitter.com/SMCSheriff/status/295253909189042176/photo/1

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Good photo Josh. Some of those guns have been illegal for decades. The sawed off shotgun with the pistol grip, could not be sold legally.