The Coalition Against Gun Violence, the city of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Police Department will host the sixth Anonymous Gun Buyback at Earl Warren Showgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon. Donors will receive a $100 Smart & Final gift card for each handgun or rifle turned in and $200 gift cards for an assault weapon.

“Our past five Gun Buybacks exceeded all expectations,” said Toni Wellen, CAGV chair emeritus. The group collected 1,169 firearms and 12 assault weapons at prior events. “We know that these weapons will never be used in a homicide, suicide or accidental shooting, therefore many homes and our community are safer.”

The event is designed to protect the identity of those turning in guns, even illegal guns, which are accepted under the supervision of Santa Barbara Police Department. Participants will be asked to place firearms in the trunk of their car and enter the queue. Police will contact drivers, remove the firearms and provide a chit under the windshield wiper to exchange for the appropriate value in gift cards. Guns are disposed of under the care of SBPD. 

“Every child lost to gun violence is your child. Each death diminishes us. Silence is not an option – inaction is not an option. Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths,” Wellen said. Each year in the U.S., over 40,000 people die by gun violence and suicide by gun. 

“Statistically, having a gun in your home is more dangerous for you and your family, especially if you have young children or teens,” Wellen said. “Although it is impossible to know the intent of a gun purchase, it is notable that people who purchased firearms during the pandemic are 70% more likely to be suicidal than other firearm owners.”

On Friday, July 30 at noon, the Coalition Against Gun Violence and the SBPD, along with local and state representatives, will join together on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall to discuss the importance of ending gun violence and the opportunity presented by the Anonymous Gun Buyback. 

For more information, contactToni Wellen, (805) 895-0477, toni@silcom.com or Catherine Swysen, (805) 689-6605, cswysen@sangerswysen.com. 

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