SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—A successful gun buyback event in San Francisco’s Mission District on Thursday night was the first in the U.S. to be partly-funded though a crowdsourcing non-profit.
GunByGun.org collected $13,000 online from 160 people to help fund the buyback, which collected 157 firearms last night at a parking lot on 22nd and Capp Streets in the Mission District.
GunByGun was co-founded by Ian Johnstone 21 years after a personal tragedy.
“I lost my father when I was 10 years old here in San Francisco,” he said.
Johnstone and his mother lobbied lawmakers but became frustrated by a lack in change in the laws. Then he and a friend came up with the idea of gun buyback crowdfunding while discussing gun control.
We can get started working on the problem now. We don’t have to wait for congress to do anything,” he said. “The NRA can’t stop us.”
Crowdsourcing, or crowdfunding, has been around for a few years and pulls together many small donations from large groups of people online.
“It’s the first time that crowdsourcing is being used anywhere in the country to do a gun buyback program,” Supervisor David Campos said.
Guns were exchanged for $100, assault weapons $200—no questions asked.
“It’s incredible,” Campos said. “Cars are lined up for more than three blocks and you see that it’s jut not cars but people lined up for walk ins.”
Campos and Mayor Ed Lee partnered with the Central American Resource Center, a Mission-based organization that works with at-risk youth, which also sponsored the event.
GunByGun is still collecting donations through the end of the August to fund a second buyback program in the Bayview District.
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