The June 14 gun buyback’s success exceeded all expectations with 239 firearms exchanged for Vons gift cards or $100 in cash. Would these guns have been crime guns? We know that these particular weapons will not be used in a homicide, suicide, or accidental shooting; therefore, our community is that much safer.
The Coalition Against Gun Violence thanks Mayor Helene Schneider for her consistent support of CAGV and gun violence prevention. Thanks to Police Chief Cam Sanchez for believing a gun buyback in Santa Barbara would work. We are especially appreciative to Sergeant Riley Harwood and his team of officers and young cadets. You had to be there to see the perfect organization and professionalism of these officers.
One of CAGV’s goals was to demonstrate to the community through our collaboration with the police department that our officers are enthusiastic about working to prevent crime. They voiced their appreciation about being involved in the buyback.
We thank Congressmember Lois Capps and State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson for taking the time from their busy schedules to come to the buyback, speak with all of us, and be just as amazed when the officers explained details regarding the six assault weapons and two lethal semi-automatic TEC-9 handguns that were also turned in.
Last, the buyback could never have happened without the donations of many people, partner organizations, and local businesses, including gunbygun.org, a crowdfunding website.
This was a team effort. As Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of each individual.” Our community is that organization.