Peninsula Cops Buy Back Guns
A gun buy-back program in East Palo Alto this weekend is designed to get guns off the street and study whether gun buy backs are effective.
Palo Alto father and venture capitalist Roger Lee said he felt compelled to launch the program following the Newtown School Massacre.
Rather than waiting for the city to find funding for a gun buy-back program, Lee started a non-profit organization that has raised more than $50,000 from more than 100 contributors. Police departments from Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto will use the money to buy guns back from residents.
Lee said graduate students from Stanford will research Saturday’s program to determine whether buy-backs are effective.
“They’re going to get data from the participating police departments of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park," Lee said, "and we’ll look at the rate of violent crime before and after the buy-back and see what the impact is. We’ll know statistically and empirically whether it is having an impact.”
If the buy-back does appear to significantly reduce crime, Lee hopes to create a how-to playbook for other communities that want to mount a similar effort.
The anonymous East Palo Alto gun buy-back will be held Saturday from 10-2 at the parking lot of East Palo Alto City Hall. Local residents will be paid $100 for a handgun, $200 for a rifle or shotgun, and $300 for an assault weapon.
Santa Clara County will hold a publicly funded buy-back March 2.