Bay Area

Crowdfunding to Buy Back Guns

When Ian Johnstone was ten years old, his dad was killed in San Francisco by teenagers with a stolen gun.

"It went through his spine and tore up a lot of his organs," Johnstone recalls. "But they didn't say a word to him. The gun just went off and then they ran. He had two hundred dollars in cash in his pocket that they didn't even take."

The tech entrepreneur organized at a happy hour at John Collins bar to drum up support for GunByGun. Typically, tax money and big donor checks pay for gun buybacks. Johnstone hopes this new funding route moves politicians on gun control.

He says, "It makes it easier for them to be courageous, if they know that there are large groups of people that are so passionate about removing guns, they're willing to take out their credit cards and pay for it themselves."

Lariza Dugancuadra, who heads the non-profit CARECEN, says crowdfunding is a way to get new, more affluent community members working on an old problem, "particularly those who do want to do something about violence in our community but may not know how to connect."

The money raised online will go towards gun buybacks in San Francisco's Mission District. The next one will take place on August 8th at 6pm at 22nd and Capp Street (in the US Bank Parking Lot).


Become a KQED sponsor

Follow KQED News on Facebook

Follow KQED News on Twitter

For the latest updates from KQED News, follow us on Twitter.