Organizing a Gun Buyback in San Mateo County

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Guns surrendered to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office at a gun buyback event on June 4, 2022. The sheriff's office says these guns will be melted down and destroyed after collection. (KQED/Annelise Finney)

This episode contains mentions of suicide.

On a weekend in early June, hundreds of San Mateo County residents drove to a courthouse parking lot in South San Francisco to voluntarily give up their guns. 

The buyback was conducted by the county sheriff’s office and organized by Citizens for San Mateo Gun Buyback. The group formed in 2018 after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and then raised money from local city governments to pay for the program. There are other events like this happening in the Bay Area, too.

It won’t solve our gun violence problem overnight. But it’s one example of communities moving the needle without waiting for the U.S. Senate to act.

Guest: Annelise Finney, KQED reporter/producer

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A transcript of this episode is available.