MARTINEZ -- Contra Costa County residents can trade in unwanted firearms for Target gift cards at three locations Saturday as part of the first gun-buyback program by the District Attorney's Office.
Anyone who can show proof of residency in the county can trade in an operable gun, no questions asked, according to District Attorney Mark Peterson, who launched the program this year in an effort to reduce the number of firearms in the streets and quell gun-related violence.
"Part of Mark's vision here at the DA's Office is to not just prosecute criminals after crimes are committed but to also be a partner in the community to prevent future crimes, and this is part of that," senior deputy district attorney Bruce Flynn said.
Peterson raised $106,000 to purchase the Target gift cards. The gift card amounts will be up to $50 for a rifle or shotgun, $100 for a handgun, and $200 for an assault weapon.
Although participants need to provide documentation that they live in Contra Costa County, the collection itself will be anonymous. Officers staffing the event will not be running names for warrants or generating any police reports, Flynn said.
The office asks that all guns be unloaded and arrive to the event in a trunk of a vehicle. Serialized guns collected that are found to have been reported stolen will be returned to their registered owners. All others will be melted down at a foundry.
The event follows successful gun-buyback efforts in other Bay Area cities and counties. Pittsburg collected 291 firearms in March, and other programs in Marin and Santa Clara counties collected 856 and 1,116 guns, respectively.
The buyback program is supported financially by donations from Chevron, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Tesoro, Republic Services, USS-POSCO Industries, Pittsburg Power Co., For Richmond, and the cities of Antioch, Richmond, Concord and Martinez. The law enforcement partners are the Concord, Martinez, Brentwood, Pittsburg, Antioch and Richmond police departments.
The buyback is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations:
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.