MARIN CITY (KCBS) – Just days after a 17-year-old was shot and killed in Marin City, the county held its first-ever gun buyback program Tuesday.
The turnout ended up being so big that county officials actually ran out of money within hours, having to hand out vouchers instead.
All told, 827 guns were handed over, 71 in Marin City itself. The majority of the weapons turned in were in Novato, where 277 were collected and San Rafael, which collected 223 guns.
Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said he doesn’t expect to get every single gun off the street, but this was a good start.
“If you have a domestic violence incident, perhaps you could not have that gun in the nightstand when that explodes,” said Berbarian. “Or if you have somebody emotionally disturbed in your home or mentally challenged, someone who cares for that person could get rid of these weapons and when they go through crisis, you might avoid a suicide.”
With the success of the program, officials have already scheduled another buyback for January 21 at the San Rafael and Mill Valley police departments from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
17-year-old Lavanial Williams was visiting family in the Golden Gate Village housing complex on January 11 when he was gunned down shortly after midnight.
The gun buyback program had been planned even before Williams was shot and killed, on the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in remembrance of his advocacy of non-violence.
People who bring in operable semi-automatic handguns receive $200 for each firearm; those who hand in other types of firearms receive $100.
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